Live broadcast from the press conference of the families of the abductees
The families of the abductees called on the War Cabinet on Monday to accede to their demand for an urgent meeting: "If there is no meeting by 20 p.m., we will intensify the measures." In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said that the meeting was being coordinated and would take place in the coming days.
In response to Walla's question about the prime minister's announcement, the families said that "this meeting should have been a week ago." On November 00, we were assured that a permanent outline for meetings would be found. It doesn't make sense to hear our stories in an intermediary way."
In a statement issued at the families' headquarters, titled "Is the Cabinet still committed to releasing the hostages?", they clarified that they would not be satisfied with meetings with some of the cabinet members who responded positively to the request raised two days ago. Among the speakers were Daniel Lifshitz, grandson of Yocheved Lifshitz who returned from captivity and Oded who is still being held in Gaza, Haim Yitzhak Or, brother of Avinatan Or, who was kidnapped from the party, and Yael Adar, mother of Tamir Adar, who was abducted from his home in Nir Oz.
The Families of the Abductees / Uri Sela
Haim Yitzhak Or said they were frightened by the testimonies of those returning from the tunnels. "Avinatan has been kidnapped in Gaza for nearly 60 days," he said. "The War Cabinet promised to meet with us regularly two and a half weeks ago, and that didn't happen. We sat quietly and didn't disturb - until we couldn't anymore. Let them tell us what's going to happen – going back to war? Negotiable? We want answers. If the cabinet doesn't want to hear what we have to say, maybe the solution is to go to whoever does want to hear, from an international place, to Biden or to anyone who wants to meet."
"Tamir is married and the father of two small children. He is a citizen who loves the land and was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz together with his grandmother Yaffa Adar, who returned. But half a grandmother returned. She tells us she won't be quiet until everyone comes back because she knows what's going on," Yael Adar said.
"His children ask every day when Dad is coming back. Our children were abandoned on October 7th. At 06:25 a.m., our lives were turned upside down and we were dependent on others. The cabinet needs to stand in front of us, look us in the eye and say what we are going to do. We do not interfere in strategies, we ask that the return of abductees be a top priority. We don't know if that's the case. We were moved to tears with everyone who returned. Some have returned, and some do not know when they will return.
"Many of the abductees who returned tell of horrors, health and nutritional neglect, one of the children told me that he ate one pita a day. We receive bitter tidings, some of which are deaths through torture of the soul. Let the Cabinet meet with us today. We deserve it. This disregard is humiliation. By tonight at 20:00 P.M., if the cabinet does not meet with us, we will have to stop and think about how to escalate the measures. My child knows I won't give up on him. Starting tonight, we will sit at the entrance to the campus until they meet with us."
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The Families of the Abductees / Uri Sela
Daniel Lifshitz said, "136 abductees, one in four from Nir Oz. We call on you to return immediately and without delay to the negotiating table. You promised us that you would return them at any price. The clock of the abductees is over. We heard the horrors from the returnees. My grandfather has no time, no medication and no days. They think they've been forgotten there, that's what they're told. We feel that you forget them. You have time for everything – except for families. Ignoring, opacity, inattention, we feel degraded by you. You will not forget the women and children and men and soldiers there. If you have no interest - we will contact an international entity that will represent us. We will not get down on our knees, we will not beg you, Netanyahu, Galant, Gantz, Eisenkot and Dermer - you will comply with the demand now, otherwise we will sit around the campus starting at 20:00 P.M. and we will not move anywhere until it happens."
Danny Mirren, Omri Mirren's father, said: "In these difficult times I try to maintain my sanity, to weigh words. I demand fixed days of the week when we meet. It is inconceivable that every time we go to ask for an appointment to hear about our loved ones, we have to beg, grovel, humiliate ourselves."
Shelly Shem Tov added: "Bibi Netanyahu, your son Avner is 27 years old. Mr. Gallant, your son Guy is 25 years old. Gantz, your son Nir is 20 years old. Look me in the eye - they could have been just like our children. At a party, at home. Would you wait 59 days to bring them home? Where are you?"
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