'Bring our people back': Israeli volunteers work for the release of some 200 hostages

FILE - Relatives of U.S. citizens held hostage by Hamas militants attend a news conference on Oct. 10, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel
FILE - Relatives of U.S. citizens held hostage by Hamas militants attend a news conference on Oct. 10, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel Copyright Maya Alleruzzo/Copyright 2023 The AP All rights reserved
By Daniel Bellamy
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

Euronews visited the Israeli Forum for the Hostages and Missing Families where both relatives and volunteers are working tirelessly to bring them home.


At the headquarters of the forum in Tel Aviv lawyers, doctors, psychologists and media experts are working around the clock to try to get the 200 or so kidnapped Israelis returned home.

The Israeli Forum for the Hostages and Missing Families was set up by civilians the day after gunmen from the Palestinian militant group Hamas conducted their lightning strike into southern Israel on 7 October.

On Friday, Israeli media reported that Hamas had released two American-Israeli hostages, Judith and Natalie Raanan, who had been held since 7 October. 

It added that the hostages had been handed over to the Red Cross.

A statement published on Hamas' Telegram channel said the hostages were released on "humanitarian grounds."

Nevertheless, two weeks after the attacks, anxiety and anger are rising among both the families and the volunteers.

“We’re here to ask all governments, all bodies involved, to bring our people back. It’s an unjustifiable, inhumane crime against humanity to hold innocent people hostage like this without any information about where they are, how they are doing," said Ophyr Hanan, the deputy spokesman of the forum.

Dual Israeli-German citizen Yarden Roman Gat is among the missing. She was abducted with her husband and three-year-old daughter from the home of her inlaws.

She was last seen fleeing from Hamas gunmen in the Be’eri kibbutz, close to the border with Gaza.

The family had managed to escape from a car of Hamas gunmen that was taking them to Gaza and had fled into some nearby woods.

It was then that Yarden passed her child to her husband, who managed to escape.

But she couldn't run fast enough and was seized again by Hamas.

Yarden has not been heard of since, and nor has her sister-in-law who's also believed to have been abducted.

Her mother-in-law was killed by Hamas and buried only two days before Euronews visited the family at their home in Tel Aviv.

"There has been no help so far from the Israeli government or the international community, Liri, Yarden’s younger brother, said.

"I always hope that all these interviews, there are also people, groups from Hamas that are watching, and all I hope is that maybe they’ll release a video, showing that she’s safe and sound."

Journalist • Valérie Gauriat

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Israel Hamas war: UN calls for 'end to the nightmare' as aid trucks enter Gaza and strikes continue

WATCH: Hundreds protest against Israeli government in Tel Aviv

WATCH: Gazan families mourn their loved ones at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis