On July 2, 2020, families of Israeli hostages marched from Holon to Jerusalem in protest of the perceived inaction on the part of the Israeli government in rescuing captives held in foreign countries. The families marched to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem demanding a government plan to bring their loved ones home. The protesters arrived in Jerusalem, and were met with a tight security detail guarding the Prime Minister’s home.
The group was led by Yaron Shalmon, who began the march after his brother, Avraham, was taken hostage in Syria six years ago. During the march, participants chanted “Bring Back the Hostages” in both Hebrew and English.
The families of the kidnapped soldiers have since formed a lobby group, called “Bring Back Our Boys,” to advocate for their loved ones in the Knesset. The families have previously protested outside the Prime Minister’s office in 2018, demanding the government’s intervention to rescue the hostages. As of July 2020, three Israeli citizens are believed to be detained in Syria, in addition to missing soldiers from the 2006 Lebanon War.
According to Hadashot, the group demanded that the government form a commission of inquiry to investigate why the Israeli government was not looking for the soldiers or taking more steps to bring them home. The families also called on the government to pass a law that would compel Israeli airlines to accept the repatriations.
After their arrival in Jerusalem, the families of the hostages linked arms around the Prime Minister’s office and announced their intention to remain there until their demands were met. However, by the afternoon of July 3, 2020, the group had dispersed upon being given assurances that their concerns would be discussed in the Knesset and that the government was committed to bringing the hostages home safely.