Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to handle the overflowing frustration over his government’s neglect of Israel’s hostages held by Hamas, by intimating to the desperate relatives that he has devised a wonderful offer to Hamas to free all the hostages. (See Axios report below.) It never had a chance of working, and was crafted that way, simply to pretend to irate Israeli families that he is doing something.
On Sunday evening, a group of hostages’ families and protesters, organized by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, had blocked off traffic outside Netanyahu’s private residence, demanding that the government reach a deal for the hostages. Then, yesterday, there was another protest, outside the Knesset, where dozens of protesters, many of them elderly, gathered to demand new elections, before they were dragged off by law enforcement. The protesters called the coalition parties in power “traitors who have given up on the hostages.”
After that, relatives of Israelis being held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip burst into a session of the Knesset Finance Committee, to demand that the government do more to secure their family members’ release, as reported by The Times of Israel (TOI). Knesset security staff were unable to prevent the entry of the hostages’ relatives, many of whom carried pictures of their loved ones, and had to forcibly remove them—including one who required first aid and was eventually taken away in a wheelchair.
“You will not sit here while our children die. What about ransoming captives?” the protesters screamed. “We came to make our voices heard,” Noa Rahamim, whose cousin, Sgt. Matan Angrest, is being held in Gaza, told TOI. “Every day they die there…. It simply can’t go on like that and we came to the Knesset [to demand] that they get up and do something. Nobody will silence us.”