Relatives of the hostages stormed the parliament: “You will not sit here while they die.”

Tensions around Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli government and its stance on the release of hostages are coming to a head. Relatives of dozens of people held by Hamas entered the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), disrupting the session of the Finance Committee.

The accusation is that the government has declared that it does not want to give in to Hamas’s new demands, which means there is no agreement on the release of the hostages. Protesters shouted at MPs, “You will listen to us, there is no more commission, no more Knesset, there is only one issue you need to care about. You will not sit here while they die there.”

Tents under Netanyahu’s house

On the evening of Sunday, January 21, the Israeli prime minister stated that “the release of the hostages is one of the goals of the war” but that “military pressure is a necessary condition” for this. “Hamas demands that the war be stopped, our forces withdraw from Gaza, all murderers and rapists be released, and Hamas be left alone, in exchange for the release of our hostages. If we accept all these, our soldiers will die in vain,” he added.

His words sparked new anti-government protests that have continued to reoccur for months. Dozens of people gathered beneath Netanyahu’s house, staying in tents for hours and demanding that the release of hostages be prioritized as the conflict with Hamas progressed.

Some of the banners on display read: “We love our children more than we hate Hamas.” One protester told the Israeli newspaper: “The claim that soldiers died in vain is as shocking as the anger at more moderate and government-linked members.” Haaretz.

Protests this morning intensified in front of the Knesset, with clashes between demonstrators and security guards described as “criminals” who were “destroying the country”. According to Israeli media reports, dozens of people blocking the streets in front of the Knesset were dragged away by the police.

Opposition in parliament is also becoming increasingly evident. Labor introduced a motion of no confidence, calling the majority parties “traitors who gave up the hostages” and stating that “the return of hostages is not a file, but the government’s number one obligation.” This motion is unlikely to pass, as Labor has only 4 out of 120 seats in the Knesset.

Domestic dissent comes with rising international tensions; But this situation seems to be making the Israeli government increasingly deaf. “The humanitarian situation in Gaza cannot be worse than this; there is no food, no medicine and people are under bombs. Some ministers accept that civilian casualties are high, but when is this enough? We will talk about this today, too.” European Union High Representative Josep Borrell told the Foreign Affairs Council that he had arrived. “This is not the way to conduct a military operation, and I say this with respect to the victims of October 7,” he added.

Source: Today IT