TEL AVIV, May 26 — Thousands of Israelis rallied in Tel Aviv yesterday to demand urgent government action to bring home hostages held in Gaza, after the bodies of several were retrieved.

Protesters observed a minute’s silence in Tel Aviv’s Hostages Square in honour of the captives whose bodies were recovered by Israeli troops this month, an AFP correspondent reported.

The army said on Friday that troops had retrieved the bodies of three hostages in an overnight operation in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.

The remains of Chanan Yablonka, Brazilian-Israeli Michel Nisenbaum and French-Mexican Orion Hernandez Radoux “were rescued” and their families notified after forensic identification, the military said in a statement.


“In just a few hours, I will bury my 42-year-old brother... I feared this moment,” Yablonka’s sister Avivit said at Saturday’s rally.

“My brother, I promise you that I will continue to shout, support, fight and do everything so that all the hostages return home safely.

“They must be taken out of this hell now.”


The bodies of four other dead hostages — Ron Benjamin, Yitzhak Gelerenter, Shani Louk and Amit Buskila — were recovered last week.

Another protest, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an early election, was held nearby.

The war in Gaza erupted after Hamas’s October 7 attack, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Gunmen also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,903 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry. — AFP