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Families of Hostages Call for Netanyahu’s Ouster, Blame Him as Obstacle to Deal

Families and supporters of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist terror group Hamas, take part in the four day march from Reim to Jerusalem to call for the release of hostages, as they enter in Jerusalem, March 2, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

i24 NewsRelatives of 20 hostages currently held by Hamas in Gaza have expressed their frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, blaming him for the failure of negotiations to secure the release of their loved ones.

Among these relatives are Ayala Metzger, whose father-in-law Yoram Metzger is one of the captives, and Einav Zangauker, the mother of Matan Zangauker, also held in Gaza.

In a press statement, the families accused Netanyahu of obstructing potential deals by rejecting offers for hostage releases and adopting a hardened stance in talks with Hamas. They criticized the prime minister for making unilateral decisions without consulting the cabinet and accused him of prioritizing his personal interests over the welfare of the hostages.

“The prime minister’s actions have been deeply disappointing and have only made the situation worse,” said Ayala Metzger. “We feel betrayed by his lack of commitment to securing the release of our loved ones.”

Einav Zangauker echoed these sentiments, stating, “Netanyahu’s refusal to engage constructively in negotiations is prolonging the suffering of our families. It’s time for him to step aside and allow someone else to lead efforts to bring our relatives home.”

The families further lamented what they described as a smear campaign orchestrated by the coalition against them.

Tel Aviv, Kaplan Bd – The weekly demo for early elections and for the liberation of the Israeli hostages has just started.

— Pierre Klochendler (@P_Klochendler) March 30, 2024

They asserted that Netanyahu’s conduct was unacceptable and amounted to criminal behavior. Expressing their frustration, they announced their intention to work towards replacing him as prime minister, believing that a change in leadership would expedite efforts to secure a deal for the hostages’ release.

Meanwhile, protests demanding Netanyahu’s resignation have intensified in recent weeks. In a demonstration held near the prime minister’s private residence in Caesarea on Saturday evening, hundreds of people gathered, carrying signs and chanting slogans calling for his ouster.

Israelis rally to demand a hostage deal and early elections

‘Some of the hostages’ families have already stated Netanyahu is responsible for putting obstacles to reaching a deal. Therefore, they’re forced to take action to remove him from power’ — Our @P_Klochendler reports

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) March 30, 2024

Among the speakers at the rally was Amos Malka, a former head of the Israel Defense Forces’ Military Intelligence Directorate, who accused Netanyahu of abandoning the hostages in Gaza.

“If the families knew how small the gap is, which Netanyahu is refusing to close in negotiations with Hamas, they would explode,” said Malka. “This is more evidence of his unsuitability to serve.”

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Malka clarified that while there were shared failures leading up to the current situation, the responsibility for events since October 7 lay squarely on Netanyahu’s shoulders.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

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