Thousands Of Israelis Protest For Hostage Release And New Elections

(MENAFN- IANS) Tel Aviv, April 21 (IANS/DPA) Thousands of people in Israel have once taken to the streets to demand an immediate release of all hostages held in Gaza and new elections.

At a mass rally in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, people loudly demanded the immediate release of all people abducted from Israel in the Palestinian coastal region as well as new elections.

"The one who abandoned them must bring them home," chanted the crowd, alluding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom many Israelis accuse of colossal failure in the face of the Hamas massacre on October 7.

Relatives of the abductees accuse the Israeli government of having no serious interest in reaching an agreement with the Palestinian Islamist organisation Hamas.

Israel and Hamas have been negotiating indirectly for months about a ceasefire and the release of further hostages who were abducted on October 7. There is currently no breakthrough in sight.

Thousands protested in the coastal cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa on Saturday evening, and hundreds in the city of Beersheva. More than a thousand people also reportedly gathered in Caesarea near a private villa belonging to Netanyahu. There were also rallies in other Israeli cities.

Until a few weeks ago, Israel had assumed that just under 100 of the 130 remaining hostages were still alive. However, it is now feared that significantly more of them may be dead.



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