SPECIAL REPORT: Father of Gaza hostage Daniella Gilboa: ‘I’m sure she will return’ 

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SPECIAL REPORT: Father of Gaza hostage Daniella Gilboa: ‘I’m sure she will return’ 

'She is strong and always supportive of others, so I believe she is strengthening her friends who are also held hostage' Daniella's father told Jewish News

Daniella Gilboa and her family. Courtesy: Gilboa family
Daniella Gilboa and her family. Courtesy: Gilboa family

The courageous father of Gaza hostage Daniella Gilboa has told Jewish News he is still confident his daughter will return home, although he acknowledges it will take time due to the significant differences between Hamas and the Israeli government’s positions in the negotiations.

“We don’t have a life. It’s been more than nine months,” Ran Gilboa, 54, told Jewish News, on a visit to London on Tuesday. 19-year-old Daniella was taken hostage by Hamas along with four other Israeli women on 7 October.

When asked how he thinks his daughter is managing the horrific situation she finds herself in, Ran is in no doubt: “She is strong and always supportive of others, and so I believe she is strengthening her friends who are also held hostage in Gaza. She can manage in every place.”

“When she returns I will tell her how much I love her. I will hug her and look after her,” he said.

It’s been 277 days since Ran last spoke with Daniella, but he still dreams about her from time to time: “So far, only good dreams. I am a religious person and I am sure that she will return.”

Ran and his daughter Daniella. Courtesy: Family

While Ran is confident that his daughter will be released, he is pessimistic about current negotiations between Israel and Hamas taking place in Cairo and Doha this week.

“It’s hard for me to believe that the negotiations will do something. I think there is a big difference between what the government is ready to do and what Hamas wants. Therefore I think it will take time. We have a problem with the government. Hamas wants to end the war but it seems like our government won’t,” he said.

“I don’t see any point in continuing the war. There needs to be a plan for the day after. And I am confident that the hostages will return the minute the war is over in Gaza. I don’t think there will be an agreement that frees all the hostages at once. It will be in stages. But they should make the deal regardless,” Ran added.

Kidnapped Israelis. Left to right: Karina Ariev, 19, Daniella Gilboa, 19, Agam Berger, 19.

Ran is, however, not among the many relatives of hostages who demand that Prime Minister Netanyahu resign and call new elections: “I don’t think we need elections now. Israel is a democratic country governed by laws. We make our voices heard through the ballots.”

Ran and his family are in touch with the IDF every other day, to get updates on the hostage situation: “They are very helpful. But we are also in touch with the government. My wife had very difficult conversations with some of the ministers.”

When asked about the demonstrations against Israel across the world and the lack of sympathy for the hostages, Ran blames media, such as Al Jazeera, for showing people a distorted version of the situation on the ground.

“They have no idea what the situation here is like. I also see it here in London. They have no idea what they are demonstrating against.”

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