‘We just want them home:’ Families of Israeli hostages plead with U.S. for help

WASHINGTON D.C. — Israeli families with loved ones who were kidnapped by Hamas met with leaders in Washington D.C. this week to plead for their help in securing the safe return of the hostages.

Itay Raviv is fighting for four of his loved ones who were taken by Hamas on Oct. 7, the day of the horrific attacks in Israel that sparked the war.

“We’re afraid and we haven’t heard from our loved ones for a month now,” said Raviv.

That includes his uncle, 78-year-old Abraham Munder; his aunt, 78-year-old Ruthi Munder; his cousin, 54-year-old Keren Munder; and Keren’s son, nine-year-old Ohad Munder Zichri.

“We just want them home,” said Raviv. “We’ve heard nothing of their whereabouts, their condition. If they get any food and medicine, any treatment. Honestly, if they’re even alive or not.”

They are painful unanswered questions that Adi Marciano understands all too well.

She spoke with our Washington News Bureau and recalled the last phone call she had with her daughter, 19-year-old Noa Marciano, before she was kidnapped on Oct. 7.

“She was whispering me mom I need to be quiet now and I need to hang up the phone,” said Marciano. “I pushed the button to hang up the phone because I didn’t want somebody will see her, will hear her.”

It was an impossible choice for a mother in a moment of terrifying chaos.

Their desperate pleas are being felt across party lines.

The families said they met with both Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C.

“There’s a nine-month old baby whose been kidnapped,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida), who met with these families this week. “There’s a ten-year-old boy. Moms and dads. Sisters and brothers. Sons and daughters… They’re leading a normal life like you and I every day and all of a sudden their relative is murdered. It’s just unbelievable.”

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia) has also met with Israeli families impacted by the Hamas attacks.

“I was heartbroken to see the heinous and horrific acts on the people of Israel on October 7th by Hamas,” said Warnock. “These kinds of attacks on civilians, on women, and children and seniors cannot be countenance by all who believe in human dignity.”

With each passing day, the fear for the families grows stronger, but they told us they won’t stop fighting.

“We’re here to tell their stories and to show you and everyone the names and faces behind the numbers,” said Raviv.

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