close up of the flag of israel
Photo by cottonbro studio on

Israelis anguished and angered by the absence of information about the fate of hostages abducted by Hamas gunmen are marshalling their own resources to get their loved ones home.

Israel's military said Sunday it had confirmed that 126 people have been held captive since Hamas militants from the blockaded Gaza Strip attacked southern Israel on October 7. They gunned down civilians and dragged dozens of others, Israelis and foreigners, back to Gaza.

Among them were children, including nine-month-old Kfir and four-year-old Arial Bibes, snatched along with their mother Shiri. Their aunt, Yrat Zailer, said help must come quickly.

"These are innocent civilians. They have rights. Pressure should be placed on Turkey, Egypt for the Red Cross to visit them," Zailer said at a press conference.

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