Contact Us

Thousands in Israel demonstrate for release of hostages held in Gaza

On Saturday, numerous individuals marched in Israel, urging for the freedom of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. Additionally, there were also calls for the resignation of the government.

Published February 11,2024
Several thousand people took to the streets in Israel on Saturday, calling for the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, with some demanding the government resign.

Relatives of the hostages accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of torpedoing the ongoing negotiations with Hamas, through international mediators.

An agreement could "bring the hostages home tomorrow," said the mother of a young Israeli being held in Gaza, in her speech. "I voted for you," she shouted, addressing Netanyahu. "When will you vote for me?"

Participants at another rally in Tel Aviv demanded the government step down and called for new elections. Later in the evening, several hundred demonstrators blocked some of the city's main traffic arteries and at least seven of the protesters involved were arrested.

There were also similar demonstrations in Jerusalem and Haifa, calling for the release of hostages.

Those being held hostage were seized by Hamas fighters and other resistance movements in unprecedented attacks in October. They killed 1,200 people and brought another 250 to Gaza, unleashing the current conflict.

During a ceasefire in November, 105 hostages were released in return for 240 Palestinian prisoners. Hamas is still holding 136 people, though at least 30 are likely to have died according to Israeli estimates.

Egypt, Qatar and the US are trying to set up a longer ceasefire and allow for the exchange of the hostages for Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel, in several phases. Negotiations are currently making slow progress.

Meanwhile the Israeli army continues to carry out massive airstrikes and a ground offensive against Hamas. More than 28,000 Palestinians have died in the war in Gaza, most of them civilians, according to the regional health authority.