Israel-Hamas war: Former hostages break the peace and call for the release of other prisoners

The hostages, who were freed as part of a seven-day ceasefire that expired on Friday, spoke in a video broadcast to a crowd of thousands at a rally in Tel Aviv.

In brief interviews, the four women spoke of their fear, hunger and sleeplessness in captivity after being abducted during an unprecedented October 7 Hamas attack on Israeli soil that sparked the war.

About 1,200 people were killed in the attack, the majority civilians, according to officials, and another 240 were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip in the hands of Hamas.

“Our daughters saw things that people of this age or any age shouldn’t see,” said 45-year-old Daniel Aloni, who was released on November 24 with his five-year-old daughter.

“There wasn’t a lot of food, and as time went on, it got less,” said 84-year-old Titza Heyman, who was released on Tuesday.

The freed hostages urged Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to take all necessary steps to free the hostages.

“The moral obligation of this government is to bring them home immediately without hesitation,” said Yochev Lifsitz, 85, who was released in October.

The broadcast of the testimony comes a day after the end of a seven-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which allowed the release of 80 Israeli hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Israeli bombardments resumed on Friday in the Gaza Strip, from where Hamas rockets were fired into Israeli soil.

“We have to bring back my Sasha and the other prisoners,” Elina Trubanov, a hostage who was freed on Wednesday, said during a rally in Tel Aviv, noting that her son was still a hostage.

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Since the Israeli army confirmed the deaths of five hostages on Friday, the families have wanted to put even more pressure on the authorities for the release of their loved ones.

Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said Saturday that 137 Israelis and foreigners were still being held captive in the Palestinian territory, that Israel was under “total siege” after a 16-year blockade and that humanitarian needs were enormous.

According to the Hamas government, more than 15,000 people, including more than 6,150 under the age of 18, have died in Israeli strikes since the start of the war.

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