Israeli hostage families say bring them home, then destroy Hamas

More than 50 family members of Israeli hostages who gathered in New York on Tuesday had one message for the Israeli government: sign the cease-fire deal and free the remaining captives in Gaza — then destroy Hamas.

“The deal must be signed today right now,” said Alon Nimrodi, 53, whose son 19-year-old Tamir was abducted at the Eretz crossing base unarmed and without his glasses.

The families, who were attending a dinner sponsored by New York-based Israeli power couple Natalie Hister Ostad and Edward Ostad at Park East Synagogue on the Upper East Side, believe “time is running out” to bring their loved ones home alive.

The IDF has confirmed the deaths of 41 of the 124 remaining hostages in Gaza, with only 83 believed to still be alive.

The event was organized by Natalie Hister Ostad, left, who is pictured with Liat Arial — whose brother Shlomi Ziv is being held captive in Gaza. Courtesy of Natalie Hister Ostad
A delegation of 52 Israeli hostage families attended a dinner thrown in their honor at Park East Synagogue. Heidi Green Photography

The deal — which was made public by President Biden last week — would see Hamas return all hostages in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, followed by a permanent cease-fire.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Hamas must be destroyed before Israel can agree to end the war.

Hard-right members of Netanyahu’s governing coalition are also threatening to withdraw their supports if he signs on

However, Nimrodi doesn’t believe that the goal of returning the hostages is mutually exclusive with Israel’s other war aim of destroying Hamas — because he believes even if Israel agrees to a cease-fire, the terrorist group will inevitably violate it.

“We know who we’re dealing with, they’re liars,” Nimrodi said. ” I can’t say animals because it’s a shame for the animals.”

The families called for a deal to be signed now. Heidi Green Photography

“Sign the deal, bring them home now, tomorrow we will blow [Hamas] away.”

Moshe Or, 31, whose brother Avinatan Or who was kidnapped along with his girlfriend Noa Argamani at the Nova music festival on October 7, says he is “cynical” that a deal can be reached.

“Hamas doesn’t have a reason to agree to a deal, they don’t care about the misery of their people they’d rather fight the Jews.

Sharon Sharabi called for a deal to be signed immediately. Heidi Green Photography
The event was organized by Natalie Hister Ostad, who is seen standing to the right of Liat Arial whose brother Shlomi Ziv is held captive in Gaza. Courtesy of Natalie Hister Ostad

“They know that the international community will force Israel to stop the war in a matter of weeks, so they can just hold their breath and wait,” Or said.

“I used to be a very optimistic person, but these last few months have taught me a very bad lesson about life.”

Or said the last time he saw his brother was the Tuesday before the Oct. 7 “black Shabbat” when he was taken captive, where they got together to celebrate his daughter’s third birthday.

“Every day that passes is risky,” Or said. “I want my brother back home.”

Razi Sharabi, 52, said that a permanent cease-fire can be reached but first the terrorist group needs to release the women and wounded captives.

Sharabi’s niece, Daniela Gilboa, was seen in a grisly abduction video from Nahal Oz base that was released on May 22.

Rabbi Mendy Heber, left and Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky, right. Heidi Green Photography

“Israel has nothing to look for in Gaza except the hostages. If they’re released we will go,” Sharabi said.

“I’m not talking about destroying Hamas.”

Sharabi believes his niece is somewhere in Gaza’s elaborate network of tunnels. He recalled watching the blood-chilling video of her capture.

“When the Hamas terrorist told her how beautiful she is and how he can’t wait to make her his slave, that is when I punched the screen,” he said.

Sharon Sharabi, 49, whose brothers Eli and Yossi were kidnapped October 7, worries that “time is running out” after the Israeli military announced Monday that Hamas killed four more hostages in Gaza.

Yossi was killed in Gaza, possibly by an IDF strike, but Eli is believed to be alive. Eli’s entire family was killed on October 7.

“My brother doesn’t know yet but there’s no one left to hug.”

Agreeing to a cease-fire without destroying Hamas is “a very big price,” Sharabi says, but he’s adamant that Israel take “all opportunities” to bring the hostages home.

Hostage families gather around a giant display of the Israeli captives at Park East Synagogue. Heidi Green Photography

“It’s the way of Torah.”

Gilad Korngold, 63, who had seven family members abducted on Oct. 7 including his 3-year-old granddaughter, said Biden should “take a baseball bat and hit everyone in the head and finish this” in reference to the negotiations between Israel and Hamas.

“[Netanyahu] can’t destroy Hamas for years,” Korngold told the Post.

“The price doesn’t matter, all hostages need to come home as quickly as possible and then we can deal with the consequences,” said Shaaban El Said, an Arab Israeli whose mentally ill son has been held captive by Hamas since 2015 after he wandered into Gaza during a psychotic episode.

Supporters of the long-suffering families echoed their calls for their loved ones to return home.

“What do you say to a parent whose child has been held in Gaza for 8 months?” asked Cantor Benny Rosnitzky of Park East Synagogue.

“We look forward to celebrating with them when all the hostages are home in their arms.”

The event came to an emotional conclusion as the hostage families gathered around a piano for an impromptu group rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in which Freddie Mercury’s lyrics appeared to take on a somber new meaning.

“Mama, didn’t mean to make you cry,” they belted out, “If I’m not back again this time tomorrow carry on, carry on.”

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