Hostages’ families mark 100 days of captivity


The families of the Israeli hostages taken by Hamas to the Gaza Strip are holding a 24-hour rally to draw attention to Sunday’s grim milestone of 100 days since their loved ones were abducted.

The events – which begin in Tel Aviv’s Hostages Square at 1 p.m. Saturday, New York time – will open with a video message from French President Emmanuel Macron, the Times of Israel reported.

Meanwhile, families whose loved ones are still being held hostage walked through a mock up of a Hamas tunnel built in Tel Aviv, meant to show the claustrophobic, dark conditions their relatives are forced to endure in Gaza, the outlet noted.

Families wrote the names of the estimated 132 people still believed to be held by the terrorists, as well as messages of hope for their return on the tunnel’s walls.

“I am shaking. For nearly 100 days [the hostages] haven’t been able to leave this,” Ela Ben Ami – whose parents were both taken on Oct. 7 – told Channel 12 after she walked through the tunnel for the first time.

A relative carries a portrait of Israeli hostage Itay Chen in a simulation tunnel inaugurated during a rally in Tel Aviv. AFP via Getty Images

Ela’s mother, Raz, was released during the temporary ceasefire in November, but her father, Ohed, remains in Gaza.

“I know that my [father] is injured. He has vertigo but I don’t know now what medications he would need,” the distressed daughter added.

Her mother, Ela explained, has remained tight-lipped about her time in captivity.

Protestors in New York City hold photos of the remaining Israeli hostages. Roy Rochlin/Shutterstock

“I don’t know if she went through this. She hasn’t told me. But I now know why she can’t sleep at night, she is in a terrible condition,” she lamented.

Meanwhile, Israel’s military effort against Hamas remains ongoing — while tensions escalate with Hezbollah on the northern Israel-Lebanon border.

On Saturday, the IDF announced that it hit three terror cells in southern Lebanon on Friday night, the Times of Israel reported.

The CIA has a new task force dedicated to gathering intelligence on Hamas. AFP via Getty Images

All three cells were preparing to execute attacks on northern Israel, the IDF said.

On Friday, the Israel army also killed three Palestinian gunmen who fired on soldiers in the West Bank, officials said.

The gunmen attacked soldiers who were patrolling the Israeli settlement of Adora, Israel’s Army Radio explained.

A picture, illuminated by a lightbulb, is displayed inside a tunnel set up to simulate the living conditions of the hostages. REUTERS

One Palestinian man survived the confrontation with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Tensions in the occupied West Bank have been running especially high since Hamas launched its attack on Israel, and the Israeli army frequently carries out deadly raids it claims are eliminating insurgency in the area.

Israeli forces have killed 344 Palestinians in the West Bank since Oct. 7, the Hamas-linked Palestinian Health Ministry claimed.

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Relatives of Israeli hostages from the Bibas family stand near the simulation tunnel. AFP via Getty Images

In the wake of the Oct. 7 attack, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) launched a new task force to gather intelligence on Hamas’ leaders and the Israeli hostages – and is sharing the information with Israel, the New York Times reported.

The new task force is the result of a directive from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the report claimed.

The Office of the US Director of National Intelligence has also upgraded Hamas on its priority list from a low level four to a more urgent level two, the Times explained.

It is unclear how effective the task force has been.

With Post wires

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