Creating new perspectives since 2009

Thousands of Israelis take to streets to demand hostage swap deal with Palestinians factions

June 2, 2024 at 1:19 pm

Thousands of Israelis gather with Israeli flags and banners to demonstrate demanding a ceasefire on Gaza, the return of Israeli prisoners to their homes and early elections in Tel Aviv, Israel on June 01, 2024 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Thousands of Israelis demonstrated Saturday in Tel Aviv to demand a hostage swap deal with Palestinian factions and early elections, according to media reports.

Tens of thousands participated in the central demonstration held weekly in Kaplan Square in central Tel Aviv, demanding an immediate hostage swap deal leading to the release of hostages in Gaza, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.

The families of the hostages urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to adopt a deal announced Friday by US President Joe Biden.

They addressed demonstrators in Tel Aviv with several speeches, saying: “Say yes to the deal,” according to the newspaper.

The demonstration in Tel Aviv is expected to expand, with additional protests anticipated in other cities and areas across Israel.

US President Joe Biden said Friday that Israel presented the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, with a three-phase deal that would end hostilities in the besieged Gaza Strip and secure the release of hostages held in the coastal enclave.

Biden appealed to Hamas to accept the deal and urged Netanyahu to resist pressure from members of his governing coalition opposed to the plan.

Netanyahu’s office reiterated on Friday his intention to continue the country’s offensive in the Gaza Strip until all of Tel Aviv’s war goals are achieved.

Hamas said it would “respond positively to any proposal that includes a permanent ceasefire, a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, reconstruction efforts, the return of the displaced, and the completion of a comprehensive hostage exchange deal.”

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza following a Hamas attack on 7 October 2023, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

Israel has been waging a brutal offensive against Gaza since October, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire. The offensive has killed at least 36,400 Palestinians, mainly children and women, and wounded over 80,000 others.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of “genocide” at the ICJ, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. According to South Africa, which took the occupation state to the ICJ, Israel is ignoring the court’s orders.