April 14, 2024
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Captives’ Loved Ones Begin Four-Day Protest March

(JNS) Families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza embarked on a four-day march on Wednesday, Feb. 28 from Kibbutz Re’im near the Strip to Jerusalem’s Paris Square.

“Right here, where we stand, I survived the Shoah we went through on October 7 at the Nova festival and in the Gaza envelope region,” Niv Cohen, a Nova music festival survivor, said at a press conference ahead of the march. “I’m here … standing. But my soul is left behind, somewhere among the trees around us that were my hiding place for so many hours.”

Cohen came to the Nova festival with four friends, including Idan Hermati and Ron Zarfati, who were among the 360 revelers murdered by Hamas that day. Evyatar David and Guy Dalal were kidnapped and remain in Gaza 145 days later.

Former hostage Sharon Aloni-Cunio said, “The previous march was before our release… When I returned, they showed me pictures and I was moved to see how much our people rallied around it.” She was freed on Nov. 27 as part of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in which 105 hostages were released.

Aloni-Cunio, 34, was released along with her twin daughters, Emma and Yuli, 3, her daughter Emilia, 5, and her sister Danielle Aloni, 44. Aloni-Cunio’s husband, David Cunio, 34, remains in Hamas captivity.

“We’re counting the days, 145 today. And who would have thought Omer, we still haven’t succeeded in bringing you back,” said Ronen and Orna Neutra, parents of Long Island native Omer Neutra. “We call on the public, on our families, on our friends, to join us on this march of hope from Gaza to Jerusalem.

“March with us for the hostages. No one should be left behind. The State of Israel cannot be fully restored without securing the release of all the hostages, the living and the murdered,” they said.

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