Relatives of Gaza hostages storm Knesset meeting to demand action

Relatives of Gaza hostages storm Knesset meeting to demand action

Relatives of Israeli hostages in Gaza stepped up their protest Monday by disrupting a parliament committee meeting, yelling “Get up from your chairs!” and chanting “All of them — now!”.

“I want my son alive. Not in a coffin or a black bag,” one mother shouted.

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Dozens of captives were released in November as part of a cease-fire and an exchange that freed some Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

The government so far has refused to negotiate another such trade.

The protest came after Israel’s government announced the death of another hostage and appears far from achieving its goals of freeing more than 100 others and crushing Hamas.

Israeli officials say fighting likely will continue for months and Hamas says it won’t free more hostages until a cease-fire.

The relatives of hostages have accelerated their protests in recent days, demanding the government do more to get their loved ones released.

On Sunday night, family members set up a protest tent in Jerusalem and vowed to stay there until the government reached a deal to free some hostages.

Relatives of festival massacre victims plant trees at site

Friends and relatives pray before planting a tree in memory of person who was killed on Oct. 7 in a cross-border attack by Hamas at the Nova music festival.Leo Correa/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

The families of the Israelis killed at a music festival during Hamas’ 7 October attack are hoping to breathe new life into the site of the massacre by planting trees in the area.

They gathered on Sunday at the site near Kibbutz Re’im for the tree planting.

Sabine Schechter, the mother of Bar, who was one of the DJs killed at the festival, said she misses her son «endlessly» and wanted to honour his memory.

«(I’m) just dying to hug him and instead of that we are standing, planting a tree, at least it’s something for nature. You see here all this amazing view, this sea of anemones that is actually the opposite from what happened here on October 7,» she said.

The tree planting event was organised by the Jewish National Fund, a 120-year-old Zionist organisation that acquires land, plants trees and carries out development projects in Israel.

Noa Tal, the head of the planting division there said that they organised the event «to show everyone, to show the world that we are here to stay, as the tree that develops its roots in the soil, we are here to stay.»

On 7 October Hamas staged its deadly attack on southern Israel, killing about 1200 people and taking about 250 hostage.

The Tribe of Nova festival, held in semi-wooded fields outside Kibbutz Re’im, just a few miles from Gaza, was one of the first Hamas targets.

According to Israeli authorities, 364 people were killed at the Nova festival site and at least 40 hostages were taken.


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