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For some, Israeli hostages’ return brings tears of relief but fight goes on

Admin By Admin Nov25,2023


“I am happy that I received my family back, we’re allowed to feel joy and to shed a tear, that’s a human thing,” Katz-Asher later said in a video released by the Hostage and Missing Families Forum.

“But I am not celebrating,” he went on. “I will not celebrate until the last of the hostages returns home.”

Others echoed that sentiment, among them Adva and Alon, grandchildren of 85-year-old Yaffa Adar.

“Our grandmother returned home yesterday after almost 50 days in captivity, we got to hug her, we are very moved by her strength and from the way she was able to survive this experience,” they said in a video statement.

But they vowed the fight would not end “until all of the hostages are back”.

Although Noam Peri’s elderly father was not among the hostages brought home on Friday, those who returned brought welcome news.

“We have a sign of life from my father, we know he’s alive from other people from the community who were released yesterday,” said Peri, whose 79-year-old father Haim was snatched from his home in Nir Oz kibbutz near the Gaza border by Hamas militants on October 7.

All but one of the hostages released on Friday — among them six elderly women, three mothers and their four children — were from Nir Oz, one of the hardest hit communities on October 7.

In Nir Oz, 75 people were seized and 29 killed, Peri said. “So one out of four people from this community were either murdered or kidnapped,” many of them neighbours or lifelong friends of her parents, kibbutz veterans.

Hearing that her father was still alive has given the anguished family fresh hope, but they have no guarantees he will be getting out soon, if at all — the hostages to be released under the ceasefire deal are women and those aged 18 or under.

“It brings a lot of hope but we don’t know how much time they’re going to be able to hold on there,” she said, describing her father as “a brave man but not a healthy man” who survived a heart attack and “depends on medication to survive”.

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