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Families of Israeli hostages frustrated with Netanyahu government, urge talks

The families of kidnapped Israelis and foreign nationals worry that the Israeli government's dual goals of the Gaza operation — eliminating Hamas and rescuing all the hostages — are incompatible with one another.
A woman holds a poster of Israeli hostage Omer Neutra during a memorial vigil for the Israeli people killed by Hamas during the October 7 attack, in New York City on November 1, 2023. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEI

As Israel ramps up its ground operation in Gaza, frustration with the Israeli government is mounting among families of those kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7 who are currently being held hostage in the enclave.  

Families of the hostages are expressing increasing fear and anger that Israel's intense aerial bombardment on Gaza could harm their loved ones.

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari said this week that the number of confirmed hostages has risen to at least 241. 

Much of the mounting frustration comes amid reports that the Israeli government's efforts to negotiate via regional powers have been lacking. Ronen Tzur, spokesperson for the Headquarters of the Families of the Hostages and Missing Persons, told Al-Monitor that there is a fear the government is falling short. "The families expect the government of Israel to act powerfully and with determination to accelerate negotiations," he said, adding, "There is a feeling that a great effort to generate real negotiations has not been put in motion yet."

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