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Families of 203 hostages taken by Hamas terrorists into Gaza hold symbolic Friday night dinner in Israel to call for loved ones to be released


Families of some of the 203 Hamas hostage gathered for a symbolic Friday night dinner today to call for their loved-ones to be released.

Anguished mothers and fathers stood behind place settings at a huge table in the centre of Tel Aviv as part of their determined campaign to ‘Bring Them Home’.

The Israel Defence Force [IDF] have announced they believe the most of the 203 hostage taken to Gaza are alive.

And today the heart-broken parents joined in prayers for the safe return of all the hostages.

With tears streaming down their cheeks, they sang the traditional Jewish hymn, ‘Shalom Aleichem Malachei Hashalom, which is recited on Friday night before the Sabbath meal.

Families of some of the 203 Hamas hostage gathered for a symbolic Friday night dinner today. Malik Shem'ov (pictured), father of Omer, told MailOnline he had hope of bringing his son home

Families of some of the 203 Hamas hostage gathered for a symbolic Friday night dinner today. Malik Shem’ov (pictured), father of Omer, told MailOnline he had hope of bringing his son home

Friends and families gathered at a giant table as set out for Friday Night Dinner in Tel Aviv City Centre for the 203 Israeli hostages that are missing after the attacks by Hamas

Friends and families gathered at a giant table as set out for Friday Night Dinner in Tel Aviv City Centre for the 203 Israeli hostages that are missing after the attacks by Hamas

Eli Albag, his wife Shira and daughter Roni embrace at the symbolic gathering

Eli Albag, his wife Shira and daughter Roni embrace at the symbolic gathering

And joining arms around each other the families and well-wishers sang Israel’s national anthem ‘Hatikvah’ [The Hope].

Among them were the parents of 21-year-old Omer Shem-Tov.

He was kidnapped from the Nova music festival that was held in the desert near the Gaza Strip. Hamas later sent his family a sickening video to prove they had taken him hostage.

His father Malki Shem-Tov, 59, an entertainment producer, told MailOnline he had hope of bringing his son home.

He said: ‘Omer was at the party. He is 21 years old and he was kidnapped and taken to Gaza by Hamas with one of his friends.

‘He called us several times of Saturday morning he told us that terrorists had got into the party.

‘At about 9am he said that there was a lot of shooting and that people were being killed all around him.

‘He said; “I love you, I love”.

A family member writes a message dedicated to her missing brother

A family member writes a message dedicated to her missing brother

Pictured: Eli Albag, father of Liri who was one of the 203 hostages taken by Hamas

Pictured: Eli Albag, father of Liri who was one of the 203 hostages taken by Hamas 

The anguished families are calling for their loved ones to be released

The anguished families are calling for their loved ones to be released 

‘Then later he said that he had reached the car and that he was driving away.

‘I told him to put the live location on. We were following it but it was weaving all around. And then it started heading for the border with Gaza.

‘I called him to tell him that he was going the wrong way. But he did not answer the phone.

‘The last time I saw the location the car had crossed over the border into Gaza.

‘Some time later we got a video from Hamas in which we could see Omer and his friends in the back of a pick-up truck.

‘Three days later we got official confirmation from the government that Omer was being held hostage in Gaza.’

Mr Shem-Tov added: ‘Omer is a wonderful boy. He would always come home on Friday for dinner. And then he would go out with his friends. We just want him home.’

Another place at the table was set for 18-year-old Liri Albag, who is also was taken hostage from the Nahal Oz kibbutz near Gaza.

The Israel Defence Force [IDF] have announced they believe the most of the 203 hostage taken to Gaza are alive

The Israel Defence Force [IDF] have announced they believe the most of the 203 hostage taken to Gaza are alive

Omer Shem-Tov was kidnapped from the Nova music festival that was held in the desert near the Gaza Strip. Pictured: Dude Zalmanovitch and omar's mother Shely Shem'tov

Omer Shem-Tov was kidnapped from the Nova music festival that was held in the desert near the Gaza Strip. Pictured: Dude Zalmanovitch and omar’s mother Shely Shem’tov 

Father of Liri, Eli Albag, wept as he held his wife Shira and daughter Roni at the moving ceremony

Father of Liri, Eli Albag, wept as he held his wife Shira and daughter Roni at the moving ceremony

Her father Eli Albag wept as he held his wife Shira and daughter Roni at the moving ceremony. They all wore a t-shirt bearing Liri’s smiling face.

Afterwards Mr Albag, a furniture salesman, told MailOnline: ‘Liri was kidnapped from her bed with six other girls.

‘Hamas released a video of her being put in an army jeep with three other girls.

‘This is the evidence that shows that Liri is alive and in good health.

‘Now is the time for the international community to do everything it can to get the hostages released.

Friends and families of the hostages gathered at a giant table for Friday Night Dinner in Tel Aviv

Friends and families of the hostages gathered at a giant table for Friday Night Dinner in Tel Aviv

With tears streaming down their cheeks, the families sang the traditional Jewish hymn, 'Shalom Aleichem Malachei Hashalom, which is recited on Friday night before the Sabbath meal

With tears streaming down their cheeks, the families sang the traditional Jewish hymn, ‘Shalom Aleichem Malachei Hashalom, which is recited on Friday night before the Sabbath meal

Heartbroken parents joined in prayers for the safe return of all the hostages

Heartbroken parents joined in prayers for the safe return of all the hostages

Anguished mothers and fathers stood behind place settings at a huge table in the centre of Tel Aviv as part of their determined campaign to 'Bring Them Home'

Anguished mothers and fathers stood behind place settings at a huge table in the centre of Tel Aviv as part of their determined campaign to ‘Bring Them Home’

Families came together to have the Sabbath meal

Families came together to have the Sabbath meal 

Hamas hostages Judith Raanan and Natalie Raanan, a mother and daughter from Chicago, have been released by the terror group, the Daily Mail understands

Hamas hostages Judith Raanan and Natalie Raanan, a mother and daughter from Chicago, have been released by the terror group, the Daily Mail understands 

‘Today these terrorists are kidnapping our children in Israel. Tomorrow it will be in Europe. That is why the world needs to act now.’

It has been almost two weeks since Hamas took more than 200 hostages. today, the group released two US nationals who were being held hostage in Gaza, in the first such hint of mercy.

The Daily Mail understands the names of the hostages are Judith Raanan and Natalie Raanan, a mother and daughter from Chicago who were visiting Israel for a relative’s birthday when they were kidnapped.

Hamas armed wing spokesman Abu Ubaida issued a statement announcing the release on Friday, almost two weeks after the militant group took around 200 hostages during an October 7 attack that killed 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians. 



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