(Ottawa) – At a news conference on Parliament Hill on October 30 in Ottawa, relatives of Israelis who were killed or abducted by Hamas during its October 7 attack in southern Israel urge the federal government to call for the unconditional release of all Israeli hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza. Itay Raviv, Alexandra Friedman, Harel Lapidot, Chen Zeigen, and Aharon Brodutch share their families’ experiences and answer questions from reporters.
The relatives were united in speaking out for their family members who were murdered and for those who were abducted. Here are some excerpts:
“This should have ended, in terms of the hostages 23 days ago. There’s a complicated war going on, but this is a very simple piece, in that there’s a crime against humanity happening every single day,” said Aharon Brodutch, whose 10-year-old niece was abducted from her home on Kibbutz Kfar Aza, along with her mother and two younger brothers.
Chen Zeigen, whose 74-year-old mother Vivian Silver is believed to have been kidnapped from her home in Kibbutz Be’eri, said, “Hamas is trying to frame the hostages as prisoners of war. But these are babies and toddlers and elderly people who were taken from their homes. They have not had any access to any international committee like the Red Cross… To this day, I’m not sure if my mother is alive or dead.”
Harel Lapidot, whose niece Tiferet was killed at the Supernova music festival, said: “We’re hearing the horrifying things that happened to girls and to people that were at the hands of Hamas. Those things are the exact things that we have heard from my grandmother in the Holocaust.”
“Holding hostages, holding babies is out of the question. They have to be released immediately that’s the message the Canadian government, the Canadian people has to send, otherwise we’ll see the same thing happening in the States, in Canada… in every other civilized country in the world.”
The families were appreciative of the support that they have had from the Canadian government. “We’ve been hearing warm words and words of empathy. Prime Minister Trudeau understands and knows better than us that the only way to fight terror is by fighting it,” Lapidot said.