‘We won't stop until they're home’: Brother of Israeli hostage twins says he is scared ‘the world will forget about us’

5 April 2024, 14:46 | Updated: 5 April 2024, 16:00

Liran Berman tells Shelagh Fogarty about his brothers, who are being held hostage by Hamas

By Kit Heren

The brother of Israeli twins still being held hostage by Hamas has vowed that his family won't stop campaigning for them to be released until they are set free.

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Liran Berman's brothers Ziv and Gali were taken from the Kfar Aza kibbutz in Israel on October 7, among around 240 people seized by Hamas on a day when the terrorists also killed 1,200.

Some 112 hostages have been released or freed so far, many through deals facilitated by Qatar, but Ziv and Gali were not among them.

Mr Berman told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty that he and his family had campaigned in the UK, US and in the EU for politicians to put pressure on the Qatari government to work out another deal.

Hostages already released have said that some news had filtered through to them in captivity - so the Berman family have been very vocal in the hopes that Ziv and Gali understand that they are campaigning for them.

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Gali Berman
Gali Berman. Picture: Hostages and Missing Families Forum

Mr Berman said: "We speak on radio and we speak on our news channels every day, just for the chance that they have given us that they will know that we're doing whatever we can, and we will not stop until they will be home."

He said that he felt a mixture of sadness and happiness when the other hostages were released - happiness for the other families but sadness that Ziv and Gali weren't among them.

Asked what his biggest fear is, Mr Berman said: "That the world will forget about us and the war will be the main focus.

"Everyone needs to remember that on October 6, there was a ceasefire, there wasn't a war.

Ziv Berman
Ziv Berman. Picture: Hostages and Missing Families Forum

"And in the morning of October 7, the terrorists of Hamas entered Israel, and kidnapped civilians from their bed in their pyjamas.

"This war would be over the minute the hostages would be back and Hamas would surrender, it would end like this, like in the flash once all the hostages will be home and Hamas will surrender.

"We don't want wars with our neighbours in Israel - we don't want this, we want to be in coexistence."

Mr Berman said his twin brothers shared many of the same interests, worked in the same lighting company for music acts, and even supported the same football teams - Liverpool and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

"They are doing everything together," he said.

Liran Berman has visited the UK and other countries to campaign for his brothers to be released
Liran Berman has visited the UK and other countries to campaign for his brothers to be released. Picture: Alamy

But Mr Berman said that he was unsure if Ziv and Gali were together in captivity. A hostage who was released in an earlier batch said they were being kept separately, but this was several months ago, so the situation could have changed since then.

"Both had minor injuries," Mr Berman said, "but they were alive - so this was a huge relief for us."

He added: "But twins have a unique connection. So we hope that they have a feeling each other down there in the tunnels."

'If I serve in the army, I don't serve the people around me, I serve in a cycle of violence' says Sofia Orr

Israel has come under heavy criticism for its conduct in the war, with over 30,000 people said to have died in Gaza in the past six months. Seven aid workers, including three British men, were killed in an airstrike this week. This prompted calls from the US, Israel's strongest ally, for an immediate ceasefire.

Israel has said it will only commit to a temporary pause and will continue fighting until it has eliminated Hamas from Gaza entirely.

Hamas also wants a permanent ceasefire and for Israel to withdraw its troops entirely from Gaza.

The two sides' positions are currently proving a stumbling block for any further deal to release more hostages.

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