In Tel Aviv, meanwhile, Israeli families marked 100 days that their loved ones were still being held by Hamas in Gaza. Thousands of their supporters rallied on Saturday, the eve of the anniversary, in one of their largest gatherings since the war broke out.
On Sunday, they continued a 24-hour vigil in a public square, featuring performances and speeches from, among others, Israeli hostages who had been released during a November cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas. Many of the families say the government has fallen woefully short in trying to bring back its citizens, especially when compared with its attempts to destroy Hamas.
French President Emmanuel Macron threw in his support by delivering a video speech to the families on Saturday, promising not to abandon hostages, including French citizens.
Israeli authorities should not only offer to hand over all Palestinian prisoners it has in return for Israeli hostages, but also allow key Hamas fighters free passage out of Gaza for now, said Gideon Rahat, a political-science professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“My opinion is Israel should do everything to bring back the hostages. This must be goal number one. Then, we have years to go to destroy Hamas,” he said. Rahat said the two goals weren’t necessarily at odds with each other but needed a courageous leader to be decisive and strategic in achieving them.