Families Demand Answers After Hostages Killed by Israeli Military in Gaza

The tragic deaths of three hostages, killed by Israeli troops inside Gaza, have brought their grief and frustration into the public eye

by Faruk Imamovic
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Families Demand Answers After Hostages Killed by Israeli Military in Gaza
© Getty Images News/Alexi J. Rosenfeld

The tragic deaths of three hostages, killed by Israeli troops inside Gaza, have brought their grief and frustration into the public eye in Israel, with many sharing their stories through various media outlets.

Families Speak: A Tapestry of Sorrow and Criticism

Avi Shimriz, father of Alon Shimriz, one of the hostages killed, conveyed his deep grief in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12.

“During the day I’m busy with communications and PR. At night, in my bed, I let out my grief,” he said. His account is a stark reminder of the personal toll of the crisis. “My wife, for most of the day, is sitting and crying,” he added, painting a picture of a family consumed by sorrow.

Residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, like the Shimriz family, have historically supported peaceful coexistence with Palestinians. This context makes the tragedy even more poignant.
Avi Shimriz expressed this sentiment, saying, “We are a peace-wishing kibbutz.

I have no doubt [that there’s someone to speak to on the other side]. Not everyone’s Yahya Sinwar”. His reference to Yahya Sinwar, seen as the architect of Hamas' aggressive tactics, underscores the complexity of emotions in this situation.

The Struggle for Answers and Justice

As the situation unfolds, families have been increasingly vocal about their frustration with the government’s handling of the crisis.

Avi Shimriz’s mixed feelings were evident in his further statements to Channel 12: “On the one hand I’m happy for every hostage who came back [alive].

On the other hand, I’m very mad at the decision makers in our government. They should have already released everyone,” he said.

His frustration is echoed by other family members who feel let down by their government.

Yonatan Shimriz, Alon's brother, expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of public demonstrations in influencing government action. “Here in Israel, it’s like speaking to a wall. You can set up demonstrations, hold hands, light candles, make placards, but [the government] just wants to give you the impression it is out of their hands,” he wrote on social media.

The story of Iris Haim, mother of Yotam Haim, another hostage taken from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, contrasts with the others.
She told Israel’s Channel 11, “Some people think that if they don’t shout, no one will bring their children back.

I tell them: We can do it peacefully and through a respectful dialogue. The children will come back, I have no doubt”.

Fouad Talalka, father of Samer Talalka, took his quest for his son's safety to an international audience.

During his trip to the United States, he told Israeli news website Ynet, “Bring back our kids! How long can we take this for? It’s been two months. We families are just hanging. We don’t know anything”.

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