Hamas hostage families warn time is running out to secure their release

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Hamas hostage families warn time is running out to secure their release

Raz Matalon, brother-in-law of captured Eli Sharabi tells press conference in London: 'We don’t want all the hostages to come back in coffins.'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Stephen Brisley (L), Sharone Lifschitz (centre), Sharon Sharabi (R)
Stephen Brisley (L), Sharone Lifschitz (centre), Sharon Sharabi (R)

The families of British hostages captured by Hamas have warned that time is running out to secure the release of their loved ones.

At a press conference in London on Wednesday, Steve Brisley, who is campaigning for his kidnapped brother-in-law Eli Sharabi, led calls for a deal to be reached before it was too late.

During PMQs in the House of Commons on Wednesday, MPs from all parties were seen wearing Bring The Home dogtags in a sign of solidarity with those still kidnapped by Hamas.

Responding to reports of a proposed deal in which Hamas is demanding the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners, the withdrawal of Israeli forces and an end to the war, Brisley warned:”If this current deal doesn’t bring the hostages home there is a very real chance they will never come home.”

Bristley’s sister Lianne Sharabi and his nieces Noiya, 16, and Yahel, 13, were murdered on the 7th of October when Hamas terrorists committed the massacre in southern Israel. 

As part of the proposed deal remaining Israeli male hostages would be exchanged in the second phase, but this is likely to be unacceptable to Israel’s government.

Brisley also told the press conference of how Hamas had  “taunting our family with a video released of Yossi before and after he was killed.”This is what failure looks like, failure of international diplomacy, failure to release the hostages,” said Brisley.

Also speaking was Sharone Lifschitz, a British citizen, who saw her mother Yochoved released in October.
But Hamas are still holding her 83-year-old father Oded.

“Israel has a duty to return its citizens and Israel will have to make difficult choices,” she said.

“In the past it has released many Palestinian prisoners and it will have to do that.”

Lifschitz also noted that the terror group did not need a deal to release an 83 year-old, adding “nothing is stopping Hamas releasing people for humanitarian reasons,”

Assembled journalists were also told how Hamas is still holding British citizen Nadav Popplewell and another British citizen whose family have asked for privacy.

Sharon Sharabi and Raz Matalon, the brother and brother-in-law of Eli Sharabi respectively, were also in attendance at the press conference.

Matalon said:“We don’t want all the hostages to come back in coffins.”

The delegation representing four families had met with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Qatari foreign affairs minister on Tuesday.

Brisley added:”We put the greatest trust possible in the UK and Qatari governments because we’re talking about the lives of our family. There can be no greater trust to be given, taken or broken.”

The families have been offered pro-bono support and advice from a team of lawyers, including human rights barrister Adam Wagner, and Adam Rose of Mishcon De Reya.

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