Protesters call for continuation of war against Hamas

The rally was called in the wake of the IDF decision to withdraw most of its ground forces from Gaza.


Some 1,000 demonstrators convened outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Thursday evening, advocating for the continuation of military operations against Hamas in Gaza.

The gathering, dubbed the “Victory Rally,” was spearheaded by IDF reservists, bereaved families and parents of hostages, urging the government to launch a ground offensive in Rafah.

Participants at the rally, organized by groups including the Tikva Forum for Families of Hostages, the Heroism Forum and Im Tirtzu, urged Netanyahu and his government to put military pressure on Hamas to release the 133 captives that remain in the Gaza Strip.

The rally also featured demands for the reestablishment of Jewish civilian communities in the Gaza Strip, according to Ynet.

Speakers included Itzik Buntzel and Frida Marziano, parents of fallen soldiers Staff Sgt. Amit Buntzel and Staff Sgt. Itai Marziano. Both soldiers were killed fighting Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Read  Survey: 28% of Americans seek an unconditional ceasefire in Gaza

In addition, relatives of Israelis currently held by the terror group, including Zvika Mor and Shimon Oron, called for decisive action. The lineup of speakers was rounded out by Yair Chetboun, Mayor of Ariel, the capital of Samaria, along with Alon Shvartzer and Matan Jarafi of Im Tirtzu, who are IDF reservists.

The rally was called in the wake of the IDF decision to withdraw most of its ground forces from Gaza, in what Netanyahu has said was a move in preparation for an assault on the southernmost city of Rafah, where the senior Hamas leadership is believed to be hiding.

The withdrawal has been faced with criticism from within Netanyahu’s government, with right-wing minister Itamar Ben-Gvir challenging the prime minister’s mandate to govern if the Rafah offensive does not happen soon.