“We must reach an agreement so that all mothers can hug their children,” says a rescued hostage

“We must reach an agreement so that all mothers can hug their children,” says a rescued hostage
“We must reach an agreement so that all mothers can hug their children,” says a rescued hostage

Almog Meir Jan, one of the hostages rescued by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) last month, participated this Saturday via video message in the massive protests in Tel Aviv to demand that the government reach an agreement with the Palestinian Islamic terrorist group Hamas that would allow the return of all the captives it kidnapped on October 7, 2023, when it attacked Israeli territory and also killed some 1,200 people.

“It is important that we reach an agreement so that all mothers can hug their children and husbands, just as I hug my mother every morning,” said Meir Khan, who was rescued along with three other Israeli hostages on June 8 in an Israeli military operation in Nuseirat, in the center of the Gaza Strip.

Her mother, Orit Meir, personally took part in the protest in Tel Aviv, dedicated to the mothers of the hostages, as today marks nine months of war in the Gaza Strip, parallel to the gestation period of a baby.

“As soon as I arrived, so many people hugged me. An endless amount of love. Coming back was like a new birthday for me, like being reborn. I really hope that all the hostages in Gaza will experience this rebirth like I did,” Almog said.

Almog’s father died hours before his son was rescued by the IDF a month ago and the young man thanked Israelis for their support, even while held captive in the Strip, where he occasionally watched on television the weekly protests in support of a deal to free the 116 hostages remaining in the enclave, at least 43 of whom are confirmed dead.

“It’s incredibly moving. Seeing our photos, that we’ve returned home and that we’re waiting for everyone else – this is my wish and my daily prayer,” she said.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv and other parts of Israel, including Caesarea, Netanya, Modiin, Raanana and Herzliya, to demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government reach a ceasefire agreement that would allow the return of all hostages.

The Hamas terrorist group presented a new proposal for an agreement this week, and Netanyahu announced last night that he has instructed his negotiating team to go to Doha next week to resume negotiations for a ceasefire, although he stressed that “differences” persist.

Hamas has apparently dropped its key demand that Israel commit in advance to an end to hostilities, according to leaks in Arab and Israeli media.

The proposal is otherwise similar to the plan put forward by the US in May: a first phase with a six-week ceasefire, the release of female hostages, the elderly and the wounded in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian terrorist prisoners; the withdrawal of Israeli troops from densely populated areas and the return of displaced persons.

During that period, details of a second phase would be negotiated, in which the remaining hostages, including soldiers, would be released in exchange for more terrorist prisoners. The third phase would involve the release of the bodies of captives and the reconstruction of the Strip.

So far, the parties have only reached a truce agreement, which allowed the exchange of 105 hostages for 240 imprisoned Palestinian terrorists in November. In addition, four women were released by Hamas for “humanitarian reasons” in October 2023, seven captives have been rescued in military operations by the Israel Defense Forces, which has also recovered the bodies of 19 deceased hostages.

Agencies contributed to this Aurora article

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