Tel Aviv [Israel], November 18 (ANI): The family members of the Israeli hostages held by the Hamas terror group, accompanied by thousands of Israelis, held a march from Tel Aviv to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, The Times of Israel reported on Saturday.
It reported citing local news media, that some 30,000 people joined the march.
Kobi Ben Ami, who has two family members held in Gaza, told the outlet that the families were “begging” ministers to meet with them and tell them what they planned to do to return the hostages. Many of the relatives of those held in Gaza have said they feel abandoned by the government.
Ben Ami said the families were enormously grateful for all the members of the public who had supported the families on their march.
“Well done to all the people who came to help–the thousands who came every day to bring food and drink, help with shelter and just give support. I am simply so proud of you all,” he said.
As the group began the final climb towards Jerusalem, the marchers were joined by opposition leader Yair Lapid.
The Times of Israel reported that the march entered the capital at around 3 p.m. ahead of a protest at the Prime Minister’s Office at approximately 4 p.m. and as the marchers entered the capital, they were greeted by residents of the city holding yellow balloons printed with the words “bring them home.”
At the conclusion of the protest, the families were to return to Tel Aviv and meet with war cabinet minister Benny Gantz and cabinet observer Minister Gadi Eisenkot.
A statement on behalf of the families said they had not received a response to their request for the meeting from the other war cabinet ministers–Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and cabinet observer Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, The Times of Israel reported.
At the conclusion of the meeting, a rally will be held at 7 p.m. with speeches from 8 p.m. outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, in an area dubbed “Hostages Square.”
The marchers spent Friday night at Ein Hemed, where they held a Shabbat service and had the traditional Friday night meal.
Gantz arrived at the site and spoke with relatives of hostages, embracing many of them.
“How do we welcome Shabbat without knowing where our loved ones are being held?” said Naor Pakciarz, the representative of the families of Kibbutz Be’eri, one of the worst-hit communities in the October 7 massacre.
“We have a message for the war cabinet–it cannot be that you make a decision without sitting with us and looking us in the eye. Look us in the eye!” Pakciarz said. (ANI)