The British-Israeli son of an elderly woman hostage has told of his joy after Hamas released her last night.
Noam Sagi, 53, had not heard from Ada, 75, since she called to say she was hiding in a safe room as gunmen stormed her kibbutz on October 7.
Her son confirmed she was one of 12 freed after a pause in the fighting in Gaza was extended by two days.
He said: “For our family, this is a moment we have dreamt of and worked for every minute of every day since October 7. It will be hard to believe it is true until we are able to embrace in person.
“Seeing my mum will be a moment of unparalleled relief and joy for us personally but comes against a backdrop of unparalleled grief and sorrow for our community.”
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Noam, a London-based psychotherapist, added: “For many families, including friends and neighbours, the tragedy is ongoing as long as their family members remain hostage, and the traumas they have suffered will leave scars that might never heal.
“We call on every government, international agency and NGO to do whatever it takes to get every man, woman and child taken hostage on October 7 back where they belong – with their families. Enough with the games and enough with the psychological torture. Bring them home. Bring them all home, and do it now.”
Ada had been due to celebrate her birthday with family in London just days after she was taken hostage from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz. She was among 10 Israelis and two Thais released by Hamas in return for 30 Palestinians. The hostages’ ages ranged from 17 to 84. The youngest, Mia Leimberg, was released with her dog Bella at Rafah Crossing on the Egyptian border.
Meanwhile, other British families whose loved ones were kidnapped or murdered by Hamas yesterday accused the UK Government of not doing enough for them. One couple wrote to Rishi Sunak to complain of their “disgraceful” treatment since their daughter and granddaughters were killed.
Pete and Gill Brisley told of their “complete abandonment by the UK Government” and accused it of “impotence and inadequacy”.
Their daughter Lianne Sharabi, 48 – who grew up in Bristol before moving to Israel – and granddaughters Noiya, 16 and Yahel, 13, were killed at Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7. All three were British citizens. Lianne’s husband Eli and his brother Yossi were taken hostage.
Mr and Mrs Brisley, both 79, from Bridgend in south Wales, have not had a response to their letter, sent on October 24. They are among several Britons waiting for news of loved ones. The parents of Sharone Lifschitz, a British artist, were taken hostage. Her mother Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, has been released while her father Oded, 84, remains in captivity. Ayelet Svatitzky is waiting for news of her British hostage brother.
The Government has maintained it is doing all it can to get them home.
The terror group murdered 1,200 Israelis and took 240 hostages on October 7. Hamas claim Israel has killed nearly 15,000 Palestinians. As diplomatic efforts continue to try to extend the truce, Jerusalem is adamant that its military campaign to destroy Hamas will restart with “full force” at the end of the ceasefire – due at midnight on Wednesday.
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