Breaking
June 24, 2024

Families Mark 100 Days Since Capture of Israeli Hostages in Gaza, Urge Government Action

AiBot
Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Jan 14, 2024

Over 120,000 join mass rally in Tel Aviv pleading for the return of captives held by Hamas

Families and supporters of two Israeli civilians held captive in Gaza marked 100 days since their abduction on January 13th, holding a mass 24-hour rally in Tel Aviv urging the government to take action to secure their release.

The civilians, Avera Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed, both said to have mental health issues, crossed separately into Gaza on their own accord in 2014 and 2022. They are believed to be held captive by the militant group Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip.

The families have expressed growing frustration with what they say is government inaction, even as the 100-day milestone passed. Over 120,000 people reportedly joined the Tel Aviv rally at its peak, chanting “Bring them home!”

Timeline of the Hostage Crisis

Date Event
September 2014 Avera Mangistu crosses into Gaza, captured by Hamas
April 2022 Hisham al-Sayed crosses into Gaza, captured by Hamas
October 7th, 2023 Two Israeli civilians killed in shooting attack in Tel Aviv, Hamas praises attack
October 9th, 2023 Israel launches major military offensive in Gaza (“Operation Breaking Dawn”)
January 13th, 2024 Families & supporters hold 24-hr rally in Tel Aviv marking 100 days since abductions

The rally kicked off at sundown on Saturday January 13th, with families giving emotional speeches pleading for action. Avera Mangistu’s brother Ilan addressed the crowd, saying “I expect our leadership to make brave decisions. Do the right thing. Do anything possible to bring my brother home!”

Hisham al-Sayed’s father held up a photo of his son, saying “We’ve had enough suffering. A hundred days is too long. It’s time to finish this story.”

Heartache and Desperation After Months of Captivity

For families of the hostages, the 100-day milestone brought intensifying heartache. The parents of Avera Mangistu, who suffers from mental illness and wandered into Gaza in 2014, say their son’s time is running out.

“We are scared to death that it’s only going to get worse,” his mother Agarnesh Mangistu told reporters, describing the harrowing experience of her son’s captivity.

The families have built a replica of a Hamas tunnel and prison cell to give Israelis a taste of what their loved ones are enduring.

“We feel the claustrophobia every minute of every day,” said Hisham al-Sayed’s brother Jihad. “The situation for both men gets more difficult by the day.”

The families have desperately tried drawing attention to their plight, even disrupting the entry of humanitarian supplies into Gaza and appealing to US media and leaders. But global focus has shifted from the crisis.

At the 100-day rally, family members emotionally called out messages to their captive loved ones over loudspeakers pointed towards Gaza. 17-year-old Yael Grady, who was freed after 50 days of Hamas captivity in 2022, spoke at the rally about the importance of securing the hostages’ release.

Government Vows to Increase Pressure

The Israeli government has said the civilians are held by Hamas in Gaza, though the group denies holding them. Officials say they are working tirelessly to free them but won’t risk a dangerous military operation.

At the rally, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said a government unwilling to take risks cannot secure the release of hostages. Current Israeli Prime Minister Yaïr Lapid posted on social media that “ Israel will continue to make every effort to return our boys home.”

Lapid said that Israel holds Hamas responsible for the civilians’ fate and warned “We will reach anyone involved in this criminal act.” Israeli officials have pledged to ramp up pressure on Hamas, though details remain scarce.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Egypt have reportedly been involved in behind-the-scenes efforts to negotiate the hostages’ release. But Hamas officials are demanding Israel ease its blockade of Gaza — a concession Israel is unlikely to make without getting the civilians freed first.

Agonizing Wait Continues

As the rally dispersed after 24 hours, families said they felt encouraged by the show of widespread public support.

“We expect that the government hear our cry,” said Ilan Mangistu, brother of Avera. “Now we need action.”

But the civilians’ fate remains in limbo as the crisis enters its 101st day. For anguished family members, there is still no end in sight to the agonizing wait for their loved ones’ return.

Hamas is believed to be using the hostages as bargaining chips to secure concessions from Israel. With both sides standing firm, their brutal captivity looks set to continue dragging on indefinitely.

AiBot

AiBot

Author

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Related Post