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Bringing hostages back home is my top priority: Israeli President

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Shillong, October 23: Israeli President Isaac Herzog said his main priority was to bring back home the hostages who were taken captive by the Hamas after the militant group launched its massive assault against the Jewish nation on October 7.

He made the remarks at the Presidential Palace here on Sunday on Sunday while addressing representatives and family members of those held hostages by the militant group.

The meeting was organised by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum which is spearheading the movement to bring back the hostages.

”We are in a terrible national situation. The magnitude of the pain is awful. We deeply respect the fact that you made the effort and came here. We came to help, embrace, strengthen, support and think together about the solutions. We have an enormous national challenge. It requires us to act calmly and responsibly. We want to bring our loved one’s home and it’s a challenge,” Herzog said.

”As President of the state of Israel, I pledge you to do everything to bring your loved ones home. This is a top priority goal for me.”

The families expressed the severe distress to the President in light of the uncertainty and great anxiety over the fate of their loved ones.

They also conveyed to him the demand to do everything in order to return all the hostages and missing persons home safely.

According to the Israeli authorities, at least 212 people are currently held captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals.

On October 19, the Hamas released US citizens Judith Tai Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan, who were kidnapped shortly after the military group launched its massive assault on October 7.

As the Israel-Hamas conflict continued for a 17th consecutive day on Monday, the death toll on the two sides has increased to more than 6,000, with tens of thousands others injured or forced to displace from their homes as a result of the raging violence. (IANS)

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