Amidst the Israel-Gaza war, families and supporters call for a new release deal to bring hostages back

The message was made very clear by every speaker present there, including the families, supporters, and the hostages who were released. The first message was: a demand for the urgent release of the remaining hostages and a call on the security cabinet to approve any deal that would result in releasing the hostages.

Tel Aviv’s Hostages Square witnessed an immense display of unanimity as more than 300,000 people gathered over the past 24 hours, spanning Saturday evening through a cold, rainy Sunday, to commemorate 100 days of captivity for the remaining 132 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. The massive turnout reflected a collective call for the urgent release of the hostages and expressed unwavering support for their families. The event started with a crowd of almost 120,000 people in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.

The message was made clear by every speaker present there, including the families, supporters, and the hostages who were released. The first message was: a demand for the urgent release of the remaining hostages and a call on the security cabinet to approve any deal that would result in releasing the hostages. The second message talked about the future of the country. At the rally, author Zeruya Shalev addressed the government of Israel by saying, “Bring them home now, otherwise we won’t be able to call this place home.”

According to the reports of Hebrew media, Minister Gadi Eisenkot, the war cabinet observer, on Sunday evening said that the leaders of Israel are in denial and need to wise up before it is too late. The son and nephew of Minister Gadi Eisenkot were killed fighting in Gaza. He reportedly said, “We have to stop lying to ourselves, to show courage, and to lead to a large deal that will bring home the hostages. Your time is running out, and each day that passes endangers their lives.”

Reports say that the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the defense minister Yoav Gallant restated their belief that only added military pressure would result in such a deal. Meanwhile, the families of the hostages want a deal – any deal to release the hostages, even if it would include releasing thousands of security prisoners of Palestine. Ali Ziyadne, a relative of Bedouin hostages Youssef Hamis Ziyadne and his son Hamza, on Saturday night, requested the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu to take the advice of close associates including David Barnea, Mossad head to work to secure a deal. He also added by saying, “Bibi, you have officers in your cabinet, take their advice, stop the war, enough, bring our loved ones home!”

Another family member of 26-year-old twin hostages said, “Those who abandoned them are the ones guilty of their captivity.” The rally, which unfolded against harsh weather conditions, was marked by a sea of umbrellas and raincoats as determined individuals braved the elements to make their voices heard. Speakers at the event passionately addressed the crowd, condemning the actions of Hamas and emphasizing the urgency of finding a diplomatic resolution to the hostage crisis.

Over 50 musicians performed throughout 24 hours. This includes well-known performers like Tomer Grinberg, Harel Skaat, Keren Peles, Rami Kleistein, Idan Reichel, Shlomi Shabbat, and Omer Adam. The gathering serves as a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. The unified call for justice and compassion resonates beyond the square, amplifying the urgency for a swift and peaceful resolution to the 100-day ordeal.