Middle East

Families of Israeli hostages demonstrate in Tel Aviv to demand prisoner swap with Hamas

Israel estimates around 120 held by Hamas in Gaza

Anadolu Staff  | 20.06.2024 - Update : 20.06.2024
Families of Israeli hostages demonstrate in Tel Aviv to demand prisoner swap with Hamas Thousands of Israelis take to streets to demand hostage swap deal, dismissal of Netanyahu gov't


Families of Israeli hostages held by Hamas blocked a main highway in Tel Aviv on Thursday to demand a prisoner swap with the Palestinian group.

Protesters blocked Ayalon Highway, the main artery of the Tel Aviv area, to pile pressure on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a deal with Hamas to free hostages in its captivity, the Israeli public broadcaster KAN reported.

Israel estimates that around 120 Israelis are held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip following its cross-border attack on Oct. 7, 2023.

Indirect talks between Israel and Hamas mediated by the US, Qatar and Egypt have so far failed to agree on a permanent cease-fire to allow a prisoner swap between the two sides.

The Israeli opposition accuses Netanyahu of pursuing policies that serve his personal interests and failing to achieve his declared goals of destroying Hamas and releasing the hostages.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Hamas.

Nearly 37,400 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and more than 85,500 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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