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Gaza hostage relatives storm Israeli parliament committee meeting

Gaza hostage relatives storm Israeli parliament committee meeting
Monday, 22 January, 2024, 20:18

Family members of Israelis held hostage in the Gaza Strip have stormed a parliamentary meeting in Jerusalem to demand that Israel’s government does more to return their loved ones, as fighting in Khan Younis reached unprecedented levels.

About 20 relatives of people seized as captives by the Palestinian militant group in the 7 October offensive disrupted a Knesset finance committee meeting on Monday, chanting: “Release them now, now, now!”
One woman, who has three family members taken by Hamas, cried: “Just one I’d like to get back alive, one out of three.” Other protesters held up signs reading: “You will not sit here while they die there”.

On Sunday, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected new Hamas conditions for ending the war and releasing the hostages including that Islamist group retained control of Gaza and that Israel withdraws completely. In response, a Hamas official in Qatar said Netanyahu’s refusal to end the military offensive in Gaza meant there was “no chance for the return of the captives”.

A total of 110 Israelis and other nationals were released in return for 240 Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons as part of a week-long truce at the end of November. Several attempts at a ceasefire since have failed.