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Released Captives Confront Israeli War Cabinet over Response to Hostage Crisis

HeadlineDec 08, 2023

In Tel Aviv, friends and family of Israelis held hostage by Hamas held a candle-lighting ceremony Thursday marking the start of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. This is Daniel Lifshitz, whose 83-year-old grandfather Oded was kidnapped by Hamas and brought to the Gaza Strip on October 7.

Daniel Lifshitz: “So, we light the candles for the return of the hostages, for the release of the hostages, to make a deal for the hostages. And that’s what we are here for.”

On Tuesday, released Israeli hostages joined the loved ones of Israelis still held captive, in a meeting with Netanyahu and his war cabinet. Ha’aretz reports one woman whose release was negotiated during an exchange of captives assailed Israeli leaders for indiscriminate attacks that put hostages at risk. She said, “We slept in tunnels, and we feared not Hamas, but Israel might kill us, and then it would have been said, 'Hamas killed you.'”

Another former hostage whose husband remains a captive cited recent reports in The Wall Street Journal that Israel has drawn up plans to flood Gaza’s network of underground tunnels with seawater — a move that could foul Gaza’s supply of drinking water for decades. She said, “He was taken to the tunnels, and you talk about washing the tunnels with seawater. You prioritize politics over the hostages!”

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