'The most terrible of nights': Families of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas voice fear amid IDF bombardment of Gaza

28 October 2023, 11:55

Families of hostages like Haim Peri and Oded Lifschitz have voiced their concern about the bombing
Families of hostages like Haim Peri and Oded Lifschitz have voiced their concern about the bombing. Picture: Getty/Handout

By Kit Heren

The families of the hostages taken to Gaza by Hamas have told of their fear during the bombardment of the territory by the Israeli armed forces.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

More than 220 people are being held hostage by Hamas, Israel has said, with four having been released.

They are thought to include around 20 children, as well as elderly and sick people.

Hamas says it has hidden the people it has taken captive in "safe places and tunnels" within Gaza.

Israel launched a massive aerial bombardment on Friday night that has continued into Saturday morning, as its troops moved into the north of Gaza to fight Hamas.

But the relatives of the hostages said that Friday "was the most terrible of all nights."

Read more: 'Total chaos': Devastation in Gaza amid huge Israeli bombardment, as troops fighting Hamas remain inside strip

Read more: 'Impossible to wipe out Hamas completely,' former top RAF officer says, with Israel invasion of Gaza to be 'phased'

People sift through the rubble of a building destroyed in Gaza City
People sift through the rubble of a building destroyed in Gaza City. Picture: Getty

They added in a statement: "It was a long and sleepless night, against the backdrop of the major IDF operation in the Strip, and absolute uncertainty regarding the fate of the hostages held there, who were also subject to the heavy bombing

The families said they were "worried about the fate of their loved ones and are waiting for an explanation. Every minute feels like an eternity.

They demanded a meeting with the government to discuss their concerns.

The IDF said that working to release the hostages was "a supreme national effort. And all our activities, operational, intelligence, are aimed at realising the goal".

Andrew Castle and ex-national security adviser on Israel-Hamas war

It comes after hundreds of balloons were released in London for the hostages.

London was joined in the release by cities across the world, including New York, Paris and Melbourne, where people showed solidarity with Israel and the missing.

Hundreds of people arrived at the capital's landmark, including Noam Sagi, whose 85-year-old mother is among the hostages.

They chanted 'bring them home' as the balloons were released over the Thames.

Palestinians pass by scenes of destruction in southern Gaza on Saturday
Palestinians pass by scenes of destruction in southern Gaza on Saturday. Picture: Alamy

Earlier on Friday, the Jewish Community Centre in North London laid an empty Shabbat table, with chairs displaying a missing hostage.

Raymond Simonson, the centre's chief executive, said: "These are people, they are not just numbers. We urge you today to walk around the table, and look at the faces and names.

"It's only when you look at it like this do you realise how many people it truly is."

Posters of the missing have been displayed throughout London but some have been defaced amid surging anti-Semitic incidents in the capital.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

William appeared at Ascot

Prince William shares tender moment with Kate's mother as she suffers mishap at Ascot

Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages

'I just want my baby back': Mother of missing Brit Jay Slater, 19, issues plea after 'false sighting' delays search

Keir Starmer came out on top after LBC’s two exclusive phone-ins

Keir Starmer comes out on top after LBC phone-ins – as Rishi Sunak seen as ‘overwhelmingly negative’

OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein is pictured with CEO Stockton Rush, who died on the Titan sub

Oceangate co-founder claims he can 'safely' send 1,000 people to Venus

Labour must ditch 'phoney fiscal rules' and borrow to invest in public services, says boss of UK's largest trade union

Labour must ditch 'phoney fiscal rules' and borrow to invest in public services, says boss of UK's largest trade union

Theo Paphitis speaks to LBC.

'They've lost the plot': Ex-Tory donor and Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis reveals why he's switched support to Labour

Exclusive
Sir David Ormand has criticised the Conservatives for suggesting Keir Starmer is a security risk

Former spy boss criticises 'disreputable' Tory suggestion that Putin and Xi would welcome Starmer as Prime Minister

Justin Timberlake was arrested on Tuesday

'We'll have a lot to say': Justin Timberlake's lawyer vows to 'vigorously defend' singer after DWI arrest

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday

Rishi Sunak set 'to become first PM to lose seat' in election wipeout with Conservatives down to just 53 MPs, poll finds

Starmer and Neville

Keir Starmer tells Gary Neville he needs to win British people's trust, as he warns turning UK around will take 10 years

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives for a visit to Great Wood Farm Early Years Centre, Grantham in East Midlands, June 17

Sunak close protection officer arrested over alleged election date bets

Allen Morgan, 73, said he was locked in a "passionate but forbidden" affair with his now wife Margaret, 75, when he hired a hitman to kill his then-partner Carol

Pensioner found guilty of conspiring to murder wife after hiring hitman amid 'passionate but forbidden' affair

Charlie Cosser

Teenager jailed for life for murdering 17-year-old Charlie Cosser on dance floor at party

Police were called to a property at Shorncliffe Road shortly after 3pm on Sunday

Baby girl mauled to death in dog attack at family home in Coventry

The tourists trying to stop Stonehenge being vandalised

Moment hero tourists grab Just Stop Oil spraying paint on Stonehenge, as activists 'damage rare lichen'

Anthony Hill disappeared on Monday morning

CCTV images show last sighting of Martin Lewis' MoneyExpertSaving colleague before going missing on 37th birthday