update deskIsrael at War

Passover 2024

Minister demands UN provide matzah, wine to Israeli hostages for Passover

Jerusalem Affairs Minister Meir Porush made the demand so that the remaining hostages “can at least symbolically observe the holiday.”

Shmurah matzah. Credit: Chabad.org.
Shmurah matzah. Credit: Chabad.org.

Israel’s Jerusalem Affairs Minister Meir Porush has sent a letter to the United Nations demanding that the world body work provide the 133 hostages still being held by Hamas in Gaza with matzah and wine for the Passover seder.

“Unfortunately, not all of the people of Israel will be able to celebrate the seder night according to the tradition of their ancestors,” Porush wrote in a letter to U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland.

“133 of our brothers and sisters are not with us and are being held captive by the Hamas terrorist organization, which has been holding them by force since the murderous attack on Simchat Torah,” he added.

Porush insisted that while Jerusalem hopes that all hostages would be freed before the holiday, which starts at sundown on April 22, the United Nations must step in to assist if they won’t be.

The haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, Israeli official made the demand so that the remaining hostages “can at least symbolically observe the holiday, in the hope that this will uplift their spirits and enable them to endure their difficult situation until their swift release.”

On April 11, a mock seder to demand the return of the hostages was held by family members in Kibbutz Nir Oz. In a statement, the families demanded the release of their loved ones before the holiday.

“Last Shabbat marked six months since they were cruelly kidnapped from their home. Six months, and it feels as if they have been forgotten there,” said Ofri Bibas-Levy, the sister of Yarden Bibas, who was abducted during the Oct. 7 attacks along with his wife and two young children.

“Will they be granted the freedom so cruelly taken from them? Hasn’t the time come for the whole world to also shout for Ariel and Kfir? A shout for justice, for humanity, for an end to this nightmare. Let my family go! Let our people go!” Bibas-Levy added. 

Hamas this week rejected the latest offer for a ceasefire, lowering the number of captives that it is willing to set free while raising its demands to increase the number of terrorists to be released from Israeli jail, and demanding that more violent terrorists be freed as well.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates