There may be 107 individuals, together with seven Individuals, who’re nonetheless being held hostage by Hamas because the brutal terrorist assault in Israel on October 7. My great-uncle, 4-year-old Abigail Mor Edan, was one in every of them. For 50 days we did not know the place she was, if she was alive, or if she acquired medical consideration and even meals. Each minute that handed we spent in utter agony.
Abigail was taken hostage from her residence in Kibbutz Kfar Aza after witnessing the homicide of her mom and her father, who was carrying Abigail in his arms when Hamas terrorists gunned him down. Abigail crawled out from beneath her father’s bloodied physique and ran for shelter together with her neighbors – a mom and her personal three kids – all of whom have been then taken hostage by Hamas.
For seven weeks we lived in nervousness, understanding nothing of Abigail’s whereabouts, well being or security. I cried day and night time as I prayed for her return. It’s nonetheless laborious to seek out the phrases to specific our aid at having Abigail launched on November 26two days after her fourth birthday.
I pray that the households of all of the remaining hostages will quickly know the identical pleasure. Day-after-day for these households is a nightmare. Day-after-day they spend in darkness, pressured to ponder the worst fates for his or her daughters, sons, moms, fathers and grandparents nonetheless held in Gaza.
All we all know is that the remaining hostages are sick and severely injured. They’ve gunshot wounds, damaged bones, limbs blown off and extra – injury inflicted by Hamas over two months in the past. Day-after-day that passes, they’re tortured bodily and mentally, and so they ravenous.
If we’re to avoid wasting their lives, there is no such thing as a time to waste. Hamas has threatened to execute all of the remaining hostages. Each second they continue to be in captivity, they’re in mortal hazard. The time to behave is now.
The discharge of Abigail and greater than 100 different hostages is proof that it’s doable to convey residence all of the individuals nonetheless residing in captivity. We should use all of the instruments at our disposal to make it occur once more.
I’m glad Israel has that steps taken to restart negotiations with Hamas and hopes that Israel, in addition to Qatar, Egypt and different regional companions on the desk, will proceed to urgently demand the discharge of the remaining hostages.
The households of the American hostages met with President Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken this month, along with CIA Director William Burns. We informed them to drag all of the levers to convey the remaining hostages residence. We will not wait any longer. Our family members cannot wait any longer.
Final week, Director Burns met with Israeli and Qatari officers to debate the brand new deal to free the hostages. We hope that such conferences and the continued efforts of the Biden administration will quickly bear fruit. President Biden is aware of there is no such thing as a time left to waste.
Within the meantime, the Worldwide Committee of the Pink Cross should demand quick, unhindered entry to the 107 hostages nonetheless in captivity. Many are in want of life-saving medical consideration and it’s crucial that the ICRC does all it might probably to supply help for the survival of the hostages.
As our household celebrates Abigail’s return, we proceed to mourn the lack of her mother and father and so many others from the group of Kfar Aza. We additionally maintain in our hearts the households residing within the painful limbo we skilled, awaiting phrase from their family members held captive and praying for his or her secure return. Having lived this terror myself for almost two months, I contemplate every one of many hostages part of my household, and I can’t relaxation till I see all of them returned safely.
The vacations this month – Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa – are about hope, gentle and miracles. Allow us to all, Individuals and members of the worldwide group alike, look to Abigail’s return as a supply of hope as we pray for a season of miracles and press for the secure return of each individual stolen from us on the 7 .October.
Los Angeles resident Liz Hirsh Naftali is the great-grandmother of Abigail Mor Edan, a 4-year-old hostage who was launched by Hamas after being held for 50 days.