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update deskOctober 7

Herzog bringing reps of hostages’ families to Davos confab

The Israeli president aims to "increase political pressure to see the swift and safe return of all the hostages."

Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks from the Western Wall in Jerusalem to the crowd gathered at the “March for Israel” rally in Washington, Nov. 14, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks from the Western Wall in Jerusalem to the crowd gathered at the “March for Israel” rally in Washington, Nov. 14, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog will be accompanied by representatives of family members of hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip when he travels on Wednesday to Davos, Switzerland, to attend the annual World Economic Forum.

The central purpose of the trip is “to promote the issue and to increase political pressure to see the swift and safe return of all the hostages held by Hamas,” according to a statement from Herzog’s office.

“In addition, the president will continue to reveal to world leaders in a clear and in-depth manner details of the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7,” it added.

Herzog will also emphasize to global leaders the humanitarian efforts that Israel is making, which are an integral part of the military campaign against Hamas.

“He will stress the severity of the security threat faced by the State of Israel and the entire region as long as the terrorist organization Hamas continues to control the Gaza Strip,” said the statement.

Herzog will be interviewed on-stage as part of his appearance at the conference.

In addition, Israeli first lady Michal Herzog will participate in a panel on antisemitism, together with Douglas Emhoff, second gentleman of the United States, and Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

France has sent badly needed medicines to Qatar for Israeli hostages in Gaza, the European nation’s embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed on Tuesday.

President Emmanuel Macron ordered the foreign ministry in Paris to make a list of medicines for 45 captives who need them and who have been hostages for more than 100 days. They were purchased, and delivered to Doha on Saturday.

The medicines have yet to reach the Gaza Strip. They are slated to be handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross or another third party for entry into the coastal enclave.

The Red Cross has failed to visit any of the hostages being held by Hamas. One hundred six hostages remain in Gaza out of some 240 kidnapped during the Oct. 7 massacre in the northwestern Negev. More than 100 were released as part of a deal in November, and many are believed to be dead.

On Saturday evening, tens of thousands of Israelis poured into “Hostage Square” in Tel Aviv for a 24-hour vigil to mark 100 days since the hostages were abducted and demand their return.

Organizers said that an estimated 120,000 people attended the opening hours of the event at the plaza outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which began after sundown and included a recorded speech by Macron and an in-person address by U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jacob Lew, who pledged to expend every effort to free the captives.

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