There is no victory without bringing all the hostages and missing home: Hostage families to Israeli President (IANS FROM ISRAEL)


The missing persons and hostages forum conveyed this to the Israeli President during a meeting with him at his residence in Jerusalem on Sunday.

The Israel government-appointed envoy on hostages and missing persons, Gal Hirsch, was also present in the meeting.

The families of the hostages and missing clarified to Herzog and Hirsch that victory in the war would only be achieved after their loved ones returned from Gaza.

Both Herzog and Hirsch heard the families’ representatives express concern about the condition of their loved ones held hostage in Gaza and the uncertainty they are suffering.

The Israeli President said at the start of the meeting, “I want to thank you for the strength and resilience, and for coming to speak and share, we can’t even imagine your worries and anxieties. It’s important for you to know — returning the hostages is our top priority, ours and the whole world’s. We need to rely on the IDF to bring everyone home safely. Hamas is a cynical body that doesn’t care if Gaza residents starve. The humanitarian crisis aligns all countries on our side.”

Hirsch added,”There is no lock in negotiations that we don’t try to break in order to get to the hostages and receive information. There was a tremendous effort with the first two hostages released and the two hostages released through Egypt. We are doing everything to reach everyone — this goal is always at the forefront.”

He also told the families, “There is tremendous intelligence and operational effort that history has not seen before, all to obtain any possible information. We really want to succeed in this and bring all the families back home, healthy and whole.”

Jackie Levy, uncle of the Calderon family (three of them are hostages in Gaza), said, “Two members of our family were murdered in the terrible massacre and three more were kidnapped to Gaza. We have difficulty in our hearts to divide between grief and worry. We do not feel the issue is a top priority for the state. It took a long time for the state to get involved, and even then many things were done poorly.”

He adds, “For three weeks, our family has been living in the situation room, without sleep and without any real help from the state. The state’s leaders are engaged in petty politics, and we expect you, Mr. President, to be the responsible adult.”

Niva Vankert, mother of Omer Vankert, made clear, “I came here today to bring my son home. All the hostages are a microcosm of Israeli society. I’m sure the IDF is doing all it can. But what will really win the war is a victory of the spirit, which will only happen when all the hostages and missing return home.”

As per the latest figures shared by the IDF, there are 239 people taken as hostages in the custody of Hamas.




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