Families of Israeli hostages held by Hamas brought the campaign for their release to Greece during a press conference and meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Monday.
We “believe Greece will help in every possible way” so that Israelis held by Hamas return to their homes, said former Israeli diplomat Ram Aviram, who along with two families of abducted young Israelis gave a press conference in Athens.
“We came to Greece because it is a very important country for us, for its relations with the Middle East,” he noted, “and we believe that it will help in every way possible so that Israeli hostages held by Hamas since October 7 return home.”
The two families visiting Athens are only 2 of the 242 families of Israeli hostages held by Hamas, who have decided to make the case of their detained relatives as broadly known as possible.
At the press conference, they also presented images of their loved ones taken from still frames in video footage sent to them by Hamas, it was noted.
“We want to find a way to a peaceful life with the Palestinians,” said 26-year-old Eli David, whose 30-year-old-brother Eviatar’s whereabouts are unknown since October 7, the day Hamas attacked Israel.
“Our problem is with Hamas and what they did is unacceptable. It is unacceptable in both political and humanitarian terms,” he pointed out.
Greece stands by the families of Israeli hostages
Earlier, President Sakellaropoulou welcomed Galia and Ilay David, the mother and brother of 22-year-old hostage Evyatar David, as well as Orit and Aviram Meir, mother and uncle of hostage Almog Meir, who is also being held hostage in the Gaza Strip.
Sakellaropoulou expressed her undivided support, as well as that of the entire Greek people, to the families of the Israeli hostages. She also wished for the speedy return of their loved ones and for peace to prevail in the region.
As she said, the taking of hundreds of people hostage, including young children, women and the elderly, is a trauma for the collective conscience of humanity and constitutes one of the most serious war crimes, for which the perpetrators should face the consequences.
She also underlined that international pressure should be intensified on Hamas in order to allow the abductees to communicate and of course return safely to their families and homes, adding that Greece unreservedly supports every diplomatic effort in this direction.
The President of the Republic spoke with Almog Meir’s mother, who referred to the hostage situation and her last communication with her son, expressing the dramatic ordeal of families and relatives of hostages, who have no information about the fate of their loved ones.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again rejected the idea of a cease-fire in Gaza unless hostages are released.
“There’ll be no cease-fire, general cease-fire, in Gaza without the release of our hostages,” he said speaking to ABC News.
“As far as tactical little pauses, an hour here, an hour there. We’ve had them before, I suppose, will check the circumstances in order to enable goods, humanitarian goods to come in, or our hostages, individual hostages to leave. But I don’t think there’s going to be a general cease-fire,” he added.