Families of Hostages Spark Protests Across Israel, Urging Government Action

By Yoni Weiss

Demonstrators protest calling for the release of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip and against the current government, outside Hakirya Base in Tel Aviv, Motzoei Shabbos. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Protests erupted across Israel on Motzoei Shabbos as families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza demanded urgent action from the government to secure their release.

In Tel Aviv, clashes broke out between protesters and police during a rally declared illegal by authorities. Police Commander Menashe Mansour declared the rally on Begin Street unauthorized, urging protesters to disperse.

Despite police efforts to extinguish bonfires lit by protesters, new ones emerged. Holding torches, demonstrators, including relatives of hostages, voiced their frustrations and demands for immediate action.

Former hostage Raz Ben-Ami appealed to the government to negotiate a deal with Hamas, highlighting the dire conditions faced by the captives. “They won’t last there, no one can survive what they go through,” Ben-Ami stated.

Similar protests unfolded in Yerushalayim, Be’er Sheva, and other cities, with demonstrators blocking roads and calling for immediate action. In Yerushalayim, protesters rallied outside the President’s residence, expressing their frustration with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s handling of the situation.

Freed hostage Aviva Siegel delivered a powerful message, urging the government to prioritize negotiations and end the hostages’ suffering. “Stop treating hostage negotiations as if they are a children’s game,” she demanded.

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