A meeting between Israel's war cabinet and the families of hostages held by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza Strip was set for Wednesday, December 6th. This was learned from a statement today from the office of the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who denied the accusations of the families of the hostages, according to which the war cabinet was ignoring their requests. “Due to the families' appeal, the possibility of bringing forward” the meeting is being considered, the prime minister's office added. Earlier this morning, the families of those detained by Hamas a Gaza released a statement, explaining that they had requested to meet with members of the war cabinet, but had received unclear responses from the coalition.
Last Saturday, December 2, the Forum of Families of Hostages and Missing Persons in Israel requested a meeting with the war cabinet to receive an update following the end of the truce and the resumption of fighting in the Gaza Strip. According to what was reported by the "Times of Israel" newspaper, the organization intended to ask for information on the situation and how the government wanted to work to obtain the return of the hostages. Furthermore, yesterday Netanyahu he had said that the country's efforts to free more hostages from Gaza are being accomplished through the military campaign. The statement came at the end of the meeting of Prime Minister Likud's party. “We are continuing to talk to our enemy to continue to release hostages, and we are talking with fire,” Netanyahu said, adding that the war cabinet was acting “swiftly but not recklessly” in its decisions on fighting, and that attention remains focused on both the southern and northern fronts.
Of the approximately 240 people kidnapped on 7 October, the day the war between Hamas and Israel began, at least 105 were freed by the Islamist group during the seven-day truce interrupted on the morning of Friday 1 December. There liberation of the hostages by Hamas it came in exchange for Israel's release of more than 200 Palestinian detainees and increased humanitarian aid shipments to Gaza. After the truce, Israeli authorities said that 137 hostages are still in the hands of Hamas in the Palestinian exclave, information not confirmed by the Islamist group. For its part, Israel released 240 Palestinian prisoners and detainees during the seven-day ceasefire, Israel released 240 Palestinian prisoners and detainees.