Israelis freed from captivity spoke publicly for the first time on Saturday, at a rally in Tel Aviv. They urged their government to bring the remaining hostages home.
“Without all of you, I wouldn’t be here,” Yelena Trupanob, 50, told the crowd. She was released from captivity with her mother. Irena Tati, 73, on Nov. 29.
Trupanob’s son Sasha, 28, is still held captive. Her husband, Vitaly, was killed by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, the day they were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz.
“Now, we have to continue to return my Sasha and everyone,” she said in Hebrew and Russian. She then chanted, “Right Now,” together with the crowd.
Yocheved Lifschitz, 85, whom Hamas released before the seven-day truce deal that ended on Friday morning, said that “the moral obligation of this government is to bring them home immediately, without hesitation.”
Israel succeeded in releasing 110 captives—86 Israeli citizens and the rest foreign nationals—before Hamas violated the ceasefire.
Hadas Calderon, whose son Erez, 12, and daughter Sahar, 16, were returned on Nov. 27, said, “A miracle happened to me, and I pray the same for everyone else.”
Danielle Aloni, 45, who was released last week along with her daughter Emilia, 5, said, “Our daughters saw things that children at that age—or of any age—don’t need to see.”
Chants of “Bring them home now” filled the rally.
Brig. Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch, Israel’s coordinator for the hostages and missing, met on Saturday evening with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens and his team, who are visiting Israel.
The two men discussed efforts to release the hostages, efforts by Israel on their behalf and on behalf of their families, and the close cooperation between the U.S. and Israel since the start of the crisis.
Hirsch expressed to the American envoy and his team appreciation for America’s commitment and support since the outbreak of the war.
Mossad agents negotiating the potential renewal of the ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas left Qatar on Saturday due to an impasse in the talks.
“The Hamas terror group did not fulfill its obligations under the agreement, including releasing all the women and children in accordance with a list provided to Hamas and approved by it,” according to a statement released by the premier’s office on behalf of the spy agency.