Families of hostages call for exchange of Hamas prisoners for hostages – Israel News

todayOctober 28, 2023 10

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Israel should consider the release of all the Hamas prisoners in exchange for Hamas freeing all the kidnapped Israelis it holds in Gaza, representatives of the kidnapped said at a rally in Tel Aviv Saturday night after a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“All of us here saw the tanks going into Gaza, and we are very worried,” said Merav Leshem Gonen, who read a statement from the families after the meeting.

“We came out of a meeting two hours with the prime minister; it was very painful, and very clear things were said from the representatives of the families with an unequivocal demand that the [IDF’s] operations’ activities weigh the fate of the kidnapped; the responsibility for this is on the government of Israel,” said Leshem Gonen, whose daughter Rumi was kidnapped from the music festival on October 7. 

“We demand that no move be taken that endangers the fate of our family member”

“We demand that no move be taken that endangers the fate of our family member, and that every action takes their well-being into account,” she said. 

“We made it clear that as far as the families are concerned, a deal for the immediate return of our family members within the framework of everyone for everyone should be considered and will have wide national support,” she said to cheers and chants of “bring them home now.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with a woman who has a family member kidnapped by Hamas. (credit: PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE)

Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida said Saturday that “with the high number of enemy prisoners we have, the price is to liberate all the prisons from all the prisoners.”

She said that Netanyahu heard these words and understood the determination of the families.


The families are scheduled to meet with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday, and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Monday.

Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying that he said Israel will do everything possible to bring about the release of the hostages and that this is one of the goals of the war.

Netanyahu told the delegation that the key to releasing the hostages is pressure. “The greater the pressure, the greater the chances [of success],” he said. He reportedly said that a ground incursion was necessary to increase the pressure on Hamas.

Netanyahu said later at a press conference that the ground incursion will not impact efforts to free the hostages. 

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said at a Saturday night press conference alongside Netanyahu and Minister Benny Gantz that  “we are doing everything to return the hostages. This is very complicated and we are dealing with a situation we have never dealt with before. We are ready to do everything to bring them home, this is not a secondary objective, it is of supreme importance, and we are committed to it.”

Among those at the meeting were Sara Netanyahu, Transportation Minister Miri Regev and the coordinator for the hostage release Gal Hirsch. 

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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