By John Ensor •
Published: 24 Oct 2023 • 9:24
Last night Hamas released another two elderly hostages, one of them is the mother of a London-based British national.
On Monday, October, 23, at the Rafah crossing, the Red Cross received Yocheved Lifshitz and Nurit Cooper. Soon, both will be on their way to Israel. Meanwhile both the women’s husbands remain in captivity, writes the Independent.
London resident Sharone Lifschitz confirmed, ‘I can confirm that my mother Yochi Lifshitz was one of two hostages released to the Red Cross this evening.’
She added: ‘While I cannot put into words the relief that she is now safe, I will remain focused on securing the release of my father and all those, some 200 innocent people, who remain hostages in Gaza.’
Ms Lifshitz, aged 85, and Ms Cooper, 79, were escorted from Gaza through the Rafah crossing to Egypt. Footage from Egyptian television showed them being placed into ambulances. The two women, along with their spouses, were abducted from their residences in Nir Oz, near the Gaza border, during a Hamas incursion on October 7.
Citing humanitarian grounds, Hamas announced the release of the two elderly women. This decision followed the liberation of an American mother and her adolescent daughter just days earlier.
On Monday, Ms Lifshitz shared her anguish about the absence of any communication from her parents since the unexpected Hamas strike two weeks ago, which tragically resulted in 1,400 fatalities.
Last night the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) commented: ‘We welcome the release of a further two hostages this evening.
‘Our thoughts remain with the families of loved ones still being held captive, as they endure unimaginable anguish and worry at this time. We will continue to work tirelessly with Qatar, Israel and others to ensure all hostages come home safely,’ the statement concluded.
The UK government has announced a multi-million package to help with the humanitarian crisis that the people of Gaza are currently suffering.
Yesterday the UK Prime Minister announced an additional £20 million in humanitarian aid for the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
This recent commitment, made in the House of Commons, raises the UK’s total donation to £30 million since the conflict began. The aid aims to address urgent needs, including food, water, healthcare, and shelter, through trusted partners such as the UN and the Red Cross.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed the severity of the Palestinian people’s suffering and emphasized the necessity for continual aid. He also welcomed the partial opening of the Rafah crossing as a diplomatic achievement, though he stressed it was not enough.
The Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, reiterated the UK’s dedication to assisting Gaza civilians while also supporting Israel’s stance against Hamas. Both officials have been engaged in diplomatic efforts in the Middle East to ensure sustained humanitarian access to Gaza.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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