Scores of Israelis marched between the Judea communities of Neve Daniel and Alon Shvut on Friday to mark 100 days since Hamas launched its barbaric assault on Israel and murdered 1,200 people.
“We are marching on Derech Ha’Avot [the ‘Path of the Patriarchs’] to the Lone Oak, places that symbolize Jewish history and the restoration of Gush Etzion, to strengthen the spirit for the return of the captives and for victory,” said Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman.
“The Path of the Patriarchs is the fusion of the history and the rise of Gush Etzion. By marching, we forge an eternal connection with Israel, and by gathering at the Lone Oak, we connect with the history of Gush Etzion and its legacy that is so important for reinforcing our spirit these days,” added Ne’eman.
The Lone Oak, located halfway between Jerusalem and Hebron, has served as an area landmark for more than 600 years. After the 1948-49 War of Independence, it became a symbol of Jewish return to the land.
Friday’s march was initiated by residents of Neve Daniel in cooperation with the Gush Etzion Regional Council and three other communities located along the historic path: Elazar, Rosh Tzurim and Alon Shvut.
At a rally following the event, Kiryat Arba Council head Eliyahu Liebman, whose son Elyakim Liebman is a hostage in Gaza, called on the Israel Defense Forces to “return the captives to us in a way that sanctifies, and not desecrates, God’s name, in a way so that the nation of Israel will never again face murders or abductions.
“We want the hostages back as soon as possible, but we have a responsibility for the security of the people of Israel in future generations, and therefore, do not conduct deals with our enemies,” said Liebman.
One of the organizers, Hadar Ben Eliyahu Weiss from Neve Daniel, said she initiated the march out of a sense of shared fate with the Israeli hostages, who have been in Gaza for more than 100 days, and to strengthen the soldiers and security forces fighting and protecting the communities.
“Our strength lies in standing together, in unity. We all wish for the swift return of the captives and pray for the well-being of the soldiers and the injured,” the Judea resident said.