SAccording to the journalist, anonymous people and family members of hostages gathered in Hostage Square, carrying signs with messages such as “they trust us to get them out of hell” or “bring them home now”.

“We want to pressure the government to reach an agreement to release them,” said Eli Eliezer, a family member of one of the 137 hostages that Israeli authorities estimate are still being held in Gaza.

“They should have reached an agreement sooner. It is the government’s job to guarantee the safety of its population and its lands,” said the 61-year-old engineer.

Around 240 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza on October 7, during Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israeli soil, which left 1,200 people dead, most of them civilians, according to Israeli authorities.

The Israeli bombings launched in retaliation for the attack have already caused 17,700 deaths, more than two thirds of which are women and young people under the age of 18, according to the latest report from the Hamas Ministry of Health.

In late November, 105 hostages, including 80 Israelis, were released under a seven-day truce between Hamas and Israel, in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.

Hamas has ruled out any further releases until a permanent ceasefire is reached.

Today, in Tel Aviv, amid prayers, songs and speeches, the father of a hostage criticized the action of the Israeli government.

“Why are they not doing their job? We are asking the Israeli cabinet, the war cabinet, to explain exactly what is on the negotiating table,” said Ruby Chen, father of 19-year-old Itay Chen.

“We demand to participate in the negotiation process. Remove them now, immediately, whatever the price,” he stressed.

In the midst of a compact crowd, Tzvia Bader guarantees that the release of the hostages “is not the absolute priority” of the government.

The woman fears that the army will put hostages in danger during its offensive in Gaza.

Read Also: TO THE MINUTE: Half of the population in Gaza is hungry; 17,700 dead

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