newsIsrael at War

Uncle of Gaza hostage: Iran attack distracting from plight

Almog Jan was one of 40 people kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from the Supernova music festival on Oct. 7.

Almog Meir Jan, 21. Photo: Courtesy of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.
Almog Meir Jan, 21. Photo: Courtesy of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.

“I fear that the escalation with Iran will divert attention away from the abductees, the negotiations and the effort to return them home,” Aviram Meir, whose nephew Almog Jan is captive in Gaza, told JNS on Sunday.

Jan, 21, from Or Yehuda near Tel Aviv, was one of 40 people Hamas terrorists kidnapped from the Supernova music festival on Oct. 7.

At 7:45 that morning, he called his mother, Orit, to tell her that terrorists were shooting at the site. He promised to update her every half hour and said he loved her. That was his last phone call.

Orit later identified her son in a propaganda video featuring five youngsters tied, beaten and terrified. The clip was the last proof of life that the family received.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed early on Sunday morning that Hamas has rejected the latest U.S.-mediated hostages-for-ceasefire-and-terrorists proposal.

“It has been over a week since the Cairo meeting—Hamas has rejected the outline that was tabled by the mediators,” said Netanyahu’s office.

“The rejection of the proposal by the three mediators [the United States, Egypt and Qatar], which included the most significant flexibility on Israel’s part, proves that [Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya] Sinwar does not want a humanitarian deal and the return of the hostages, is continuing to exploit the tension with Iran, and is striving to unite the sectors and achieve a general escalation in the region,” the statement continued.

Meir told JNS, “I hope that now, there will be less international pressure against entering the Gaza Strip with a large military force. For the whole Strip and not just Rafah.

“Hamas must understand that the price for its refusal will be heavy,” he said.

“I expect my government to also take responsibility for distributing food to the citizens of Gaza. This way, we will be able to sever the immediate connection between Hamas and the citizens there,” Meir added.

“At this point, Sinwar will understand that we are hitting him where it hurts on the most precious thing to him—the continuation of Hamas’s rule in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

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