Thousands rally in Jerusalem for the return of hostages

ix months after the Oct. 7 attacks, former hostages and relatives of the remaining abductees have commemorated the fate of those held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Some 50,000 people showed up for Jerusalem rally calling for the hostages to be brought home, according to the organization of family members behind the march.

A number of sisters of the women who are still being held hostage stood on stage at the beginning of the event dressed in clothes like those worn by the women on Oct. 7, when the Palestinian militant group Hamas led a surprise attack on Israel triggering the current war.

Several taped their mouths shut as a symbol of the hostages’ speechlessness and painted red paint on their clothes or arms as a sign of blood.

Goldstein, looking at the portraits of the hostages projected onto a large screen, said she wondered in what condition the hostages would return.

“The photos scattered around the country – and world – show a different person, not who they are there..”

Itay Regev, 19, who was abducted with his sister Maya at the Nova music festival on Oct. 7, described a life of fear while held hostage.

“We returned alive, but not whole,” saying he dreaded every morning because it brought another day in hell.

“The words ‘festival’ and ‘music’ have changed forever and are now the saddest words.”

Relatives of the hostages recalled the festivities of the past six months, which had to be celebrated without their loved ones.

Now they hoped to return for the Passover seder plate during one of the most important holidays in Judaism, celebrated this year from April 22 to 30.

See also  Netanyahu denounces bid to arrest him over Gaza war

Some 1,200 people were killed during attacks led by Hamas militants on Oct. 7 and 250 more abducted into Gaza.(dpa/NAN)

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