FAMILIES OF ISRAELI VICTIMS URGE WORLD TO STAND AGAINST ISLAMIST VIOLENCE Only four hostages have been released so far
The world must take a stand against Islamist violence to avoid it spreading and take action to ensure the swift release of hostages taken by Hamas militants after their Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, families of victims said.
A delegation of relatives visited Rome to hold talks with authorities, including Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, as part of a campaign to bolster world efforts to free the more than 200 people taken captive.
The group included Avi Eylon, whose 23-year-old daughter, Shira, was killed with a friend while attending a music festival.
Sitting with Shira’s sister, Adar, at a hotel in the Italian capital, he said it was too late for his family but the hostages had to come home.
The Israeli military said on Thursday that the number of people confirmed held hostage in the Gaza Strip since the Oct 7 cross-border raids by Hamas had reached 224, and could rise further.
Foreigners are among those captured by Hamas and only four hostages have been released so far.
US President Joe Biden and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday discussed “ongoing efforts to locate and secure the release” of Americans believed held hostage in Gaza, the White House said.
Biden also stressed to Netanyahu the “importance of focusing on what comes after this crisis to include a pathway for a permanent peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” the White House said.