- Relatives fear new law will hamper negotiations to secure the release of 239 people
Families of hostages kidnapped by Hamas thugs last month have pleaded with the Israeli government not to continue with plans to introduce the death penalty for terrorists.
Relatives fear the new law will hamper delicate negotiations aimed at securing the release of some 239 people kidnapped during October 7 raids in southern Israel.
Talks are underway in Qatar between all parties and the United States, and the hope is that 50 of those detained can be released in the coming days, as part of a five-day ceasefire.
But in the Israeli Parliament on Monday, families of hostages held by Hamas implored the Israeli government not to legislate a law providing for the death penalty for terrorists because it could derail a deal.
Gil Dikman, whose cousin Carmel Gat was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip on October 7, told National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir: “I beg you not to capitalize on our suffering now.
“The lives of Cramel and the hostages at stake, with a sword at his neck. I already asked you last week, Minister, and I begged you to stop.
“I begged you not to make any profit from us or our suffering.
“If you see us, please take this off the agenda. If you have a heart, don’t say we represent the people who murdered our loved ones.
“Please choose life and make sure they come home alive and whole.”
Last week, the talkative Mr. Gvir criticized the decision to allow fuel tanks into Gaza and stormed out: “What’s next, football and sport?”
“First you give them water, then food, now fuel and the next steps are football and sports. We cannot grant them these conditions.
The families of the hostages are scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the rest of his war cabinet Monday evening in Jerusalem.
In a statement, the families of the hostages also opposed the death penalty for the terrorists.
They said: “Its existence at this time endangers the lives of our loved ones beyond the already existing risk, and does so without furthering any public purpose.
“The death penalty is a sensitive issue that should first be discussed in private discussions in professional forums.
“Its existence at this time endangers the lives of our loved ones beyond the already existing risk and does so without promoting any public objective.”
Those detained in Gaza include British-Israeli Sharone Lifschitz’s father Oded, 83, while her mother Yochevbed, 85, was released last month.
She told MailOnline: ‘Mum is as well as can be expected, physically she is fine but psychologically it will take a long time, every day she sees missing people she knows on TV.
“We are desperate to bring all the hostages home, my mother is back but my father is not and the situation of those detained has not changed for over 40 days now.
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“I have seen discussions about this deal and I urge the Israeli government to make this deal and do everything in its power to bring my father and others home.
“There is no resurrection, there is no progress, there is nothing until we bring the hostages home. Everything must be done to bring them all back immediately.”
On Saturday evening, Ms. Lifschitz participated in a rally with more than 30,000 others outside Mr. Netanyahu’s office.
Asked if the government was doing enough, she said: “It’s day 43, so it’s not enough. We want the hostages to return home now. We are told nothing and we have the feeling that time is running out.
“The urgency is great; we have elderly and frail people there and they have been there for 43 days, and we are very concerned for all of their safety – when they come back the government will have done enough.
The Washington Post said that “under a detailed six-page agreement,” Israel and Hamas would “freeze combat operations for at least five days while around 50 or more hostages would be “released in batches.” every 24 hours.”
Israeli media said that in exchange Hamas would receive Palestinian prisoners, including women and children, as well as more fuel.
They added that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar temporarily withdrew from the negotiations due to the IDF’s operation at Al-Shifa Hospital, but had since resumed talks in Doha, the Qatari capital.
The Walla online site said the stumbling block was Hamas demanding that Israel “stop using drones” to allow the terror group to locate hostages it is holding in Gaza.
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