The families of Israeli hostages do not want to bring them home. They want to crush Hamas


JERUSALEM (AP) — “Now!” Slogans of! Now! Now!” Raise your voice at almost every protest in Israel requesting the government to make every possible effort for the immediate release of dozens of hostages Organized by Hamas.

But a small group of hostage families are sending a different message: Let the military finish the job of defeating the terrorist group first, even if it delays the return of their loved ones.

These families argue that the price to be paid in any hostage deal – the release of large numbers of Palestinian militants captured by Israel – would put the country at risk in the future.

“When you release terrorists, they will return to killing. It’s always been that way,” said Tzvika Mor, whose 23-year-old son, Etan, was abducted four months ago. Nova Music FestivalWhere he was working as a security guard.

“How can you stand up in front of people and say, ‘I want my son back, and I don’t care about you?'” Peacock told The Associated Press by phone. “Instead of just worrying about our son, we are worried about the entire country.”

Relatives of most of the hostages strongly disagree with Mor, saying that only a compromise can free the captives and that their chances of survival are becoming increasingly slim given the dangerous conditions. situation in gaza, These apprehensions increased further late on Wednesday night when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did so Hamas’s latest demands rejected Decried the hostage agreements as illusory and instead vowed to continue the war until “complete victory”.

The plight of the hostages has drawn Israeli public attention since they were captured during a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, sparking the war. Posters of the detainees have been plastered on city streets, and many Israelis now wear symbolic military-style dog tags and necklaces with small yellow ribbons in solidarity with them.

As the crisis has escalated, protests have grown in size and intensity, demanding the government reach a deal with Hamas. And fearing that time is running out to get them home safely, protesters have become increasingly vocal – in some cases grabbing microphones and letting out blood-curdling screams.

Peacock said he is aware that his opinions “vary from what is acceptable” and is even considered unnatural. In December, Alon Nimrodi, the father of hostage Tamir Nimrodi, told Mor during a live show on Israel’s Channel 11, “Just because you abandoned your son, doesn’t mean I’ll abandon my son,” leading to The peacocks broke down. Drowned in tears.

The Mor family and the families of two other hostages founded the Tikva Forum, a loosely organized group whose public members are mostly religious and right-wing. They share the belief that military pressure, not an immediate ceasefire or hostage release agreement, is the best way to bring their loved ones home.

Mor said his critics are unable to understand how he can put his ideology above the natural reaction to call for the safe return of his loved ones. He and others on the platform say they are rational and that their critics are being driven by their emotions.

About 250 people were taken hostage during the October 7 attack, in which Hamas also killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Israel’s upcoming war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 27,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of whom are women and children, according to local health officials in Gaza, where Hamas continues to exert influence in some areas.

During a week-long ceasefire in November, about 100 hostages Released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners, mostly women and children, who had been convicted of minor crimes.

In its latest demands, Hamas is demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for freeing all hostages, including those convicted of killing Israelis during the long-running conflict.

This is unacceptable to the Tikva Forum, whose views closely align with Netanyahu’s.

“Surrendering to Hamas’s delusional demands will not only not lead to the release of the hostages, it will invite another genocide,” Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday.

Netanyahu’s words were devastating to the families of most of the hostages.

Adina Moshe, 72, one of the hostages freed in November, said, referring to Netanyahu, “I am extremely afraid that if you continue on this path … there will be no more hostages left to free.”

Hamas leaders reached Cairo on Thursday Another round of talksMor was arguing Israel’s case for continued military pressure on the United States.

Peacock said he was confident that he was acting in accordance with his son’s wishes.

A few months before October 7, Mor said he was sitting around the table after a Shabbat meal with his children, including Eitan, the eldest of eight children. Mor lives in Kiryat Arba, a Jewish settlement known for its far-right ideology and next to Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

they were discussing 2011 Gilad Shalit deal, in which more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners were released in exchange for Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was taken in his tank in Gaza in 2006 and held captive for five years. Yehya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza and mastermind of the October 7 attack, was one of those released in the swap.

Peacock said he opposed the exchange, and Eaton agreed.

“Eaton said he didn’t want a situation to happen where they released him for murders,” Peacock said. “We know that they will start killing just like they did after Gilad Shalit.”

Mor said other hostages’ families are connected to the Tikva Forum, not just its three founding families, and they share the belief that continued military pressure is vital to releasing the captives. He said many members do not want to reveal their identities publicly because they worry that Hamas could make things worse for their loved ones.

Ditza Or Tikva is a founding member of the Forum. His son Avinatan was last seen being taken out of the concert by Hamas militants, with his girlfriend Noa Argamani shouting, “Don’t kill me!” As soon as he was pulled towards Gaza. Several weeks ago, Hamas released a video showing Argamani alive, but there has since been no information regarding his fate.

Avinatan’s uncle, Simeon Orr, told the AP that he believed Avinatan would be proud of his family’s stance.

He said, talks should be held from a place of strength. “They are identifying our weaknesses and in the next few years they will attack us again,” he said, referring to Hamas.

Liran Berman fears that much worse will happen if Israel continues on its current path. Their 26-year-old brothers, twins Gali and Ziv Berman, were abducted from Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

“We see that when there is a deal, the hostages come back and when there is no deal, only the bodies come back,” Berman said.

Standing outside the ruins of his brothers’ homes last week, Berman said Israeli soldiers have freed only one hostage during the four months of war. Once a deal becomes available, the government must achieve it, he said.

“Only through a deal will we get our brothers back,” Berman said.


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