Relatives of kidnapped Israelis called on European leaders ”to act now” to obtain the release of all the hostages. “You have the power to exert pressure for the release of my son Tzachi and the other hostages,” said Dvora Idan, 72, the mother of Tzachi Idan, 51, who was kidnapped from his home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz.
”My family, my wife and my daughters they need to get out now,” said Yoni Asher whose wife and two daughters are detained by Hamas in Gaza. ”You need to use all your power to do so.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen thanked Europe for its support against Hamas terrorism and called for the immediate release of the hostages detained by the terrorist group in the Gaza Strip.
“I ask you to be united in your demand for the immediate release of the hostages,” Cohen said as he addressed the European Pzrliament in Brussels during a gathering where members of the families of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on October 7 were also present.
‘’The 7th of October was the worst day for the State of Israel and for the Jewish People when some 3,000 terrorists entered Israel with one single objective, to kill as much Jews as possible, murdering entire families and taking 240 hostages,’’ Cohen said.
He recalled that Israe withdrew from Gaza in 2005.’’There is no dispute between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza regarding the land. There is no single Israeli in Gaza since 2005.’’
Israel’s war to destroy Hamas is “the war of the free world.’’ ‘’We must free Gaza from Hamas for the security of the State of Israel and for the people living in Gaza,’’ Cohen added.
He sad that Iran is orchestrating attacks on Israel in order to stop the tide of normalization and peace in the region. “We need to win this war in order to ensure that the West will not be next, since terrorism, it’s like a cancer. Hamas has used international financial aid to build tunnels and rocket factories while leaving Palestinians,starving.”
“We are not attacked only by the Hamas and by the Islamic Jihad. We are also attacked by the Hezbollah in our northern border and also by the Houthis in Yemen,” Cohen added.
‘’We thank Europe for standing with us,’’ the minister said.
All the relatives of kidnapped Israelis called on European leaders ”to act now” to obtain the release of all the hostages. “You have the power to exert pressure for the release of my son Tzachi and the other hostages,” said Dvora Idan, 72, the mother of Tzachi Idan, 51, who was kidnapped from his home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz. “Humanitarian aid in Gaza only in exchange for the release of the hostages,” she said.
.”You have to choose to side either with the Western world or with jihad,’’ said Yoni Asher, 37, whose wife and two baby girls were kidnapped. He noted that they are also European citizens as they have German citizenship.’’Is the German passport just a piece of paper without value?,’’ he asked.’’We can still save the hostages,’’ he added. ”My family, my wife and my daughters they need to get out now,” he stressed,adding to the audience of 200 MEPs, diplomats and journalists: ”You need to use all your power to do so.” He ended his testimony by reciting the ”Shema Yisrael” prayer.
Ayala Yahalomi, whose brother Ohad and nephew Eitan, 12, were kidnapped,stressed that time is running out. ‘’You need to act now to get the hostages out,’’she said. ‘’I dream that tonight I will wait my brother and nephew at the border. I have hope.What are you doing to make this dream come true?,’’ she told the MEPs present.
The families of the hostages complained that no humanitarian organisation has visited the hostages to check that they are well. They also called on the European Parliament to stop funding Hamas, referring to the aid that Brussels sends to Gaza but which, more often than not, remains in the hands of the terrorist group.
Other relatives included Omri Almog, 51, whose sister was kidnapped to Gaza with three of her children, Agam (18), Gai (11) and Tal (9), as well as Shai Wenker, 51, whose son Omer (22) was kidnapped as he participated in a party in Re’im together with his friends. Omer desperately needs his medication as he suffers from chronic colitis.
Some of the relatives also highlighted the close relationship that the now abductees had with the Gazans. In many of the kibbutz attacked, some as close as 2 kilometres from Gaza, many Palestinians were working. “My brother cared about the Palestinians, more than Hamas,” said Ayala Yahalomi.
Cohen told MEPs that Israel’s current war in Gaza against Hamas is “the war of the free world”. He also spoke of attacks on Israel by other groups in the region backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which he considers to be “the number one financier of terrorism in the world”. In addition to Hamas,
The gathering at the European Parliament, hosted by Spanish MEP Antonio Lopez-Isturiz, started with a minute of silence for the 1400 victims who were brutally murdered by Hamas. A short video clip with images of the 7 October massacre, filmed by the Hamas terriorists themselves, was screened during the gathering. Earlier this week, Israeli embassy in Brussels invited journalists to watch the screening of a 46-minute video – mostly images taken by the terrorists themselves- showing the atrocities committed by Hamas in the kibbutzim and moshavim bordering the Gaza Strip. The massacres led to the Israeli army’s operation in Gaza with the objective to destroy Hamas ‘s terror capabilities.and eliminate the leaders of the terrrorist group.
”We, European politicians, need also to be part of the negotiations for the release of the hostages,” said MEP Antonio Lopez-Isturiz from the European People’s Party (EPP) group and Chairman of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Israel.
As part of his visit to Brussels, the Israeli minister also held closed-door meetings with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy, Oliver Varhelyi.
Metsola and von der Leyen were the first world leaders to visit Israel following the 7th of October Ha mas attack againstthe Jewish State.
Maria Psara from Euronews interviewed Yoni Asher in the European Parliament: