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Loved ones of hostages face agonizing wait amid deal prospects

According to U.S. officials, Israel and Hamas are getting closer to reaching a deal to release hostages.
Loves ones of hostages face agonizing wait amidst deal prospects
Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 20, 2023

Sandy Feldman has not heard from her sister, Aviva Siegel, since Hamas kidnapped her and her husband from their home in Kfar Aza on Oct. 7.

"Some days you feel hope that they're going to release them. Some days you feel despair," Feldman told Scripps News on Monday.

She says for her and other hostage relatives, keeping up with news of a possible hostage deal is "very painful," especially details around who might get released and who might not.

"I believe that whoever can come back should come back. I don't believe there has to be all of them, because I don't believe it's possible," Feldman said.

Hamas abducted about 240 people, including some Americans, during the Oct. 7 attacks. According to a Hamas statement last week, negotiations are focusing on the possible release of dozens of women and children in exchange for a pause in fighting and an increase in humanitarian aid for Gaza.

Moshe Emilio Lavi, whose brother-in-law Omri Miran was yanked away from his wife and two young daughters on Oct. 7, tells Scripps News that all hostages, irrespective of gender, need to be returned.

"It's important to emphasize how time is of the essence. We're already too late," Lavi said.

For him and his family, news last week that Israeli forces discovered the bodies of two hostages near Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital was "heartbreaking."

"We are in pain and agony because of their loss. But we have to keep being hopeful that Omri will return alive and well as much as possible, and that the rest of the hostages will return alive and well.

For Lavi, there's no alternative to staying strong — for the sake of his sister, Lishay, and her captive husband, Omri.

SEE MORE: Heavy fighting in Gaza as babies evacuated from hospital reach Egypt

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