Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel: families of Gaza hostages press government to renegotiate with Hamas

December 5, 2023 at 11:10 am

Relatives of the Israeli hostages that have been captive in Gaza Strip by Hamas stage a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel on December 02, 2023 [Saeed Qaq/Anadolu Agency]

The families of Israeli prisoners being held in Gaza are pressing the Israeli government to return to prisoner exchange negotiations with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

In a press conference held in Tel Aviv, the families threatened to organise an open-ended protest in front of the Ministry of Defence if their demand is not met. According to the families, there are still 136 Israelis held in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian factions.

Haaretz quoted Daniel Lifshitz, the grandson of Yocheved Lifshitz, who was released by Hamas, and Oded Lifshitz, who is still being held captive. Addressing the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said: “Your indifference towards us is a disgrace. If you have no interest in representing us [in the negotiations], we will go to an international body that agrees to do so.”

Responding to the families’ demand, Netanyahu’s office said that, “A meeting is scheduled to be held with the families and the military cabinet on Wednesday, and in light of the families’ request, the possibility of holding the meeting before that time will be studied.” It pointed out last Saturday that negotiations with Hamas “had reached a dead end”.

The humanitarian truce between the Palestinian resistance factions and Israel ended on Friday. During the truce, prisoners were exchanged and a limited amount of humanitarian aid was taken into the besieged enclave, which is home to 2.3 million Palestinians.

READ: ICRC president describes human suffering in Gaza as ‘intolerable’