Sitting next to a picture of Kfir Bibas on his one-year birthday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog brought attention to the plight of the hostages still held in Gaza by Hamas during an interview at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
“Many Israelis are asking themselves in many debates, and correctly, so, how come such huge humanitarian aid goes in, and Kfir Bibas and all of the other hostages are not even getting any help at all in any way, form or manner,” Herzog said during the interview on Thursday, in the context of a question about humanitarian assistance for the residents of the Gaza Strip.
Terrorists took Bibas, his 4-year-old brother Ariel, and their parents, Shiri and Yarden, from their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz along with some 240 others during the Oct. 7 assault on the northwestern Negev. Another approximately 1,200 persons were murdered and thousands more were wounded. According to IDF estimates, 136 hostages remain in Gaza, although many are believed to be dead.
Badly needed medicines prepared for 45 hostages in a French-Qatari deal entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt on Wednesday.
“Now we are praying that the medication that is being supplied with France and Qatar and the international agencies and others in Gaza will reach them. But that’s only the beginning,” Herzog continued. “Israelis are asking themselves, ‘How come the hostages are not getting anything?'”
Herzog emphasized that before the international community pushes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the legitimate security concerns of the Israeli people must be addressed.
“Of course, it’s a must that we must work as hard as possible to find new ways and means to have a dialogue with our neighbors, the Palestinians, and offer a future. But for that, the basic question of every Israeli will be, especially after October 7: What guarantees our well-being and safety?
“This is a big thing. This is an emotional state we are in. And I think that when nations come forward and say, ‘two-state solution,’ they have to first deal with a preliminary question, which is a core question for human beings: Are we offered real safety? What will be the safety? What is the outcome of any process and can we guarantee safety for ourselves and our people?” Herzog said.
“And I must tell you, in the last two years, before October 7, there was a huge wave of terror that the world ignored. And Michal and me, we went to bereaving families who had suffered horrible terror attacks and nobody gave a damn in the world,” he continued.
“So we have to understand. That’s why I’m saying, guys, terror is off. The world has to fight terror with no mercy in order to hope and to bring real hope for the future.”
Watch the full interview: