Minister demands UN provide matzah, wine to Israeli hostages for Passover

Hamas has tightened its demands for a hostage deal, reducing the number of hostages it has agreed to free in exchange for higher numbers of violent convicted terrorists.
Israel’s Jerusalem Affairs Minister Meir Porush has sent a letter to the United Nations demanding that the world body work to provide the 133 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza with matzah and wine for the Passover Seder.

“Unfortunately, not all of the people of Israel will be able to celebrate the Seder night according to the tradition of their ancestors,” Porush wrote in a letter to U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland.

“133 of our brothers and sisters are not with us and are being held captive by the Hamas terrorist organization, which has been holding them by force since the murderous attack on Simchat Torah,” he added.

Porush insisted that while Jerusalem hopes that all hostages would be freed before the holiday, which starts on Monday at sundown, the U.N. must step in to assist if they won’t be.

The haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, Israeli official made the demand so that the remaining hostages “can at least symbolically observe the holiday, in the hope that this will uplift their spirits and enable them to endure their difficult situation until their swift release.”

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On April 11, a mock Seder to demand the return of the hostages was held by family members in Kibbutz Nir Oz. In a statement, the families demanded the release of their loved ones before the holiday.

“Last Shabbat marked six months since they were cruelly kidnapped from their home. Six months and it feels as if they have been forgotten there,” said Ofri Bibas-Levy, the sister of Yarden Bibas, who was abducted during the Oct. 7 attacks along with his wife and two young children.

“Will they be granted the freedom so cruelly taken from them? Hasn’t the time come for the whole world to also shout for Ariel and Kfir? A shout for justice, for humanity, for an end to this nightmare. Let my family go! Let our people go!” Bibas-Levy added.

Hamas this week rejected the latest offer for a ceasefire, lowering the number of captives that it is willing to set free while raising its demands to increase the number of terrorists to be released from Israeli jail, and demanding that more violent terrorists be freed as well.