Protesters Storm Israel’s Parliament as Anger Over Gaza Hostages Grows


Supporters and relatives of hostages captured in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks burst into a meeting at Israel’s Parliament on Monday to demand that lawmakers take greater action to secure the captives’ release from Gaza.

The protest reflected the growing frustration of hostage families who have become increasingly concerned about the fate of their family members as the war, already well into its fourth month, continues.

“You will not sit here while they are dying there,” read signs held up by some of the demonstrators, who interrupted a meeting of the Finance Committee.

“Shame on you!” one of the protesters yelled.

Over the past week, several current and former Israeli security officials have suggested that making a deal with Hamas would be the only way to bring the hostages back to Israel safely. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, has continued to speak of both eliminating Hamas in Gaza and returning the hostages.

Gilad Korngold, 62, whose son Tal Shoham is one of the hostages, was seen on video being restrained by an usher in the conference room. In an interview later in the day, Mr. Korngold said time was running out to bring his son home alive.

“The danger is increasing every day that passes,” Mr. Korngold said. “Israel and the relevant countries in the region need to sit at the table — without eating or sleeping — and make this terrible situation end.”

He said that three members of his family were killed on Oct. 7, and six others who had been abducted were released during a short-lived cease-fire in late November.

On Saturday, protesters at rallies in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Caesarea — near a private residence of Mr. Netanyahu — called on the government to take immediate action to secure the release of the more than 100 hostages still being held in Gaza.

The cease-fire in November between Israel and Hamas, which lasted a week, was brokered with help from Qatar and Egypt. It allowed for the release of about 100 hostages and 240 Palestinian detainees and prisoners held by Israel, but efforts to secure another such deal have made little apparent progress.

On Monday, Mr. Netanyahu told representatives of hostage families that there was “no real proposal” from Hamas, but that Israel had put forward its own offer, without elaborating on its details, according to a statement from his office.

Brett McGurk, a senior Biden administration official, was scheduled to travel to Cairo and Doha, Qatar, this week in hopes of making progress toward an agreement that would result in the release of more hostages in exchange for a pause in Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, two American officials said on Sunday.

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