Israelis Greet Newly Freed Hostages

Stand for Israel  |  November 27, 2023

Israeli soldier, hostages arrive, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan

The first group of freed hostages were released on Friday after being held captive for weeks in Gaza. And as more hostages return to Israel, they are joyfully reuniting with loved ones, but the pain of those lost still remains, reports The Times of Israel:

Avigail’s grandfather Carmel Idan said he could not believe his eyes at first when he saw pictures of Avigail on her way back to Israel. “It was just wow. I didn’t believe it until I saw it,” he told reporters outside his home. “Now I’m calm, but not completely calm because there is happiness, but there is also the absence of Roee and Smadar.” Avigail’s parents were murdered by Hamas terrorists at their home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7.

Carmel said he had originally understood that Avigail, 4, would be released in the first phase of the hostage releases, on Friday, “and we were looking. She’s not there! What disappointment. Russian roulette. We were waiting on the second day. Again, Avigail isn’t there! We couldn’t believe it.”

While it was an incredible joy to see Avigail on her way home, he said, “There are many people who haven’t yet come back. I greatly want them to be returned and that the IDF finish what it has promised: all the hostages [back] and Hamas [destroyed].”