Hostages’ families take to streets

Hostages’ families take to streets

This evening (Sunday) and every day until Wednesday this week, demonstration will take place in front of the Knesset in Jerusalem, with the Knesset about to go into recess, after the families of some of the hostages held in the Gaza Strip decided to join the protest movement calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be removed from office and for elections to be held.

The Israel Business Forum, which brings together 200 of the largest companies in Israel, announced last night that its members would allow workers who wished to do so to join the demonstrations being held over the coming days. “This is a time of emergency and those who wish to take part in the democratic act should be allowed to do so,” the Forum stated.

The Tech for Israel organization announced that technology companies would allow employees to join the protest against the government in Jerusalem between today and Wednesday. Dozens of technology companies have already notified their employees that anyone who wishes to participate in the protests and demonstrations this week may do so. They have been joined by several venture capital firms, among them Qumra Capital, Disruptive VC, Gigi Levy-Weiss’s NFX, Pitango, and Viola Ventures. Among the companies who have told their employees that they can join the demonstrations are Fiverr, Monday.com, Meta (Facebook), Wix, Unity (ironSource), HoneyBook, Riskified, Papaya Global, Bring, Bizzabo, and Tyto. Tech for Israel said that buses would be laid on from various places in Israel to help people get to Jerusalem.

Last night, the Hostage and Missing Families Forum announced that it would no longer hold rallies at Hostages Square (the Tel Aviv Museum plaza), and the families asked the public to join them is street demonstrations. Sira Albag, mother of nineteen-year old Liri Albag, who has now been held hostage in the Gaza Strip for 177 days, said at last night’s rally: “After 176 days and 4,224 hours, the excuses have run out. Citizens of Israel, the time has come to emerge from indifference and come out in favor of life. I ask you with a cry from the heart – go out into the streets with us to bring our children home.”

Earlier, Einav Changoker, mother of hostage Matan Changoker, addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, “For half a year you have led us a dance, and told us that you are doing everything to bring Matan back to me. As long as you are prime minister, you are exclusively responsible for bringing them back. You didn’t manage to deter Hamas, so how will you manage to bring back the hostages? You failed on October 7, and you are failing now. You brought a disaster upon us that will never be forgotten. I revoke the mandate that I gave you at the election. Leave.”

During yesterday’s demonstration, demonstrators lit bonfires on Menachem Begin Street near the entrance to IDF headquarters, and blocked the Ayalon Highway in both directions. Mounted police and water canon were used to disperse the demonstrators. Sixteen were arrested, and nine were given NIS 1,000 shekel fines for disrupting traffic.

Opposition leader Yair Lapd is due to speak at this evening’s demonstration outside the Knesset, together with families of victims of the October 7 attack. Demonstrators plan to remain overnight in a protest encampment opposite the Knesset with police permission, and to stay there until Wednesday, the last da of the current Knesset session.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on March 31, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

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