British Israelis rally outside Qatar embassy for the release of hostages

Hundreds of Israelis in England gathered outside the Embassy of Qatar to sing Hebrew songs of peace.

By Mindy Rubenstein, World Israel News

Israelis gathered in London earlier this week, chanting “bring them home” as part of a vigil outside the Qatar Embassy, demanding Qatar pressure Hamas to release captives held in Gaza.

There are approximately 240 hostages being held hostage by Hamas, though the exact number is unknown since thousands were also murdered the terrorist group, and identifying bodies has been a challenge for those volunteering for this task.

The Sunni Muslim-majority country of Qatar provides sanctuary to Hamas’s political leadership, and has funded the terrorist organization.

Hamas leaders like Ismail Haniyeh live in a five-star hotel in Qatar, according to media reports. Qatar and Turkey have traditionally negotiated cease-fires on behalf of Hamas.

“Qatar is a longtime partner of ours who is responding to our request, because I think they believe that innocent civilians ought to be freed,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said last week.

Participants at the event in London formed a human chain around the embassy’s building, standing hand in hand, as a list of hostages’ names was read out. The list, originally taking seven minutes to recite, now extended to 12 minutes with the addition of new names.

The organizers wore black t-shirts bearing the number “203” in red, signifying the count of known hostages at the time the shirts were designed. Yellow ribbons were distributed to participants, some of whom draped themselves in Israeli flags.

Gary Weiss, a London-based Israeli, addressed the crowd, asserting, “Releasing the hostages is the first step on the path to peace.”

The crowd held posters showing images of the hostages and sang “Oseh Shalom” (“He who Makes Peace”), “Gesher Tzar Me’od” (“The World is a Narrow Bridge”), and concluded with the Israeli national anthem “Hatikvah.”

The demonstration in London is part of a global movement, with thousands of people gathering at vigils and events in cities such as Berlin and New York, in opposition to antisemitism, support for Israel, and demanding the immediate release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

British Communities Secretary Michael Gove condemned the massacre perpetrated by Hamas as an act of “unparalleled evil and barbarism.”

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis expressed gratitude to the royal family, the government, and opposition parties for their support of Israel.

“Sometimes, we hear reference to both sides or two sides. But we ourselves know there are indeed two sides — one is good, and the other is evil. Israel uses her forces to protect its citizens, while Hamas uses its citizens to protect its forces,” Mirvis said.

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