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Israelis urge Biden to pressure Netanyahu to stop Gaza war 

March 2, 2024 at 12:18 pm

Families and supporters of hostages held in Gaza protest in-front of the US embassy branch of Tel Aviv as they are calling for the help of US president, Joe Biden, to reach a hostage deal on March 1, 2024 in Tel Aviv, Israel. [Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Israelis protested in front of the US Embassy on Friday to demand that US President Joe Biden pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reach a deal with Hamas to include a prisoner exchange.

The demonstrators carried signs reading, “Mr Biden, help us save them” and “They need to come home now” regarding Israeli captives held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

A number of families of Israeli captives participated in the demonstration, with Israel estimating the number of captives at 134.

The demonstrators also raised US and Israeli flags and pictures of Israeli captives in Gaza, according to reports by Anadolu Agency.

Israel’s Ynet website quoted participants in the demonstration expressing: “The American government has shown more support for the issue (of Israeli captives) than the Israeli government.”

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According to the same source, they added that the Biden administration: “Was more committed to the hostage issue than the Israeli government, and therefore the families of the hostages, along with other activists, will call on the responsible adult (referring to Biden) to exert pressure and rescue the kidnapped people from Hamas and the extremist government.”

“We realise that the path to returning the hostages in a responsible deal that restores security to the country and the entire region will be through the American government, headed by President Biden,” they added.

The demonstration in front of the US Embassy coincided with a march that began on Wednesday and will last four days, which started at the Re’im kibbutz located on the border of the Gaza Strip to West Jerusalem.

The US, Egypt and Qatar are mediating to reach a deal to exchange Palestinian and Israeli prisoners and a prolonged ceasefire in Gaza.

While no progress has been announced in this regard, Netanyahu indicated on Thursday that it is premature to confirm that Tel Aviv has reached an agreement on a prisoner exchange with Hamas.

READ: Hamas armed wing says seven hostages killed in Gaza