70 DAYS SINCE THE HORRIFIC MASSACRE OF OCTOBER 7
Photo: European Parliament
From December 4 to 12, 2023, the ECLJ organized a series of high-level meetings for three brothers and a sister of Hamas hostages with European and French politicians in Brussels, Paris, and Strasbourg. The delegation had previously visited Washington and the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. We were received by officials and diplomats from various countries, and by European and national MPs from both the right and the left.
Those meetings were highly important. From the day after October 7, we have witnessed demonstrations of joy and support for Hamas throughout Europe. Some have even denied the truth of the inhuman massacre committed on these innocent people. Others wanted to equate the massacres committed by Hamas with Israel’s military response, forgetting that this war was deliberately provoked by Hamas with the aim of causing Palestinian civilian casualties in order to serve its propaganda. It goes without saying that we deplore all innocent victims.
During these numerous meetings, four subjects systematically came up in the discussions :
- The problem of the inaction of the Red Cross: 67 days after October 7, the hostages have not received the slightest visit from the Red Cross, even though it is active in Gaza and in liaison with the Hamas authorities. What’s more, the Red Cross has not publicly denounced its inability to access the hostages.
- The problem of Qatar. As you know, Qatar not only finances Hamas, a terrorist organization, but also harbors and protects its leaders. Qatar is therefore an accomplice of Hamas and of the crimes committed on October 7. At the same time, Qatar is investing massively in Europe with the aim of gaining cultural and political influence in the West. It is not just buying football clubs, but also politicians. We agreed that Europe must denounce Qatar’s complicity and duplicity in regard to Hamas.
- The problem of the European financing of Hamas is also an issue systematically discussed, especially regarding the University of Gaza.
- Another major point that came up in discussions with political figures was that what happened on October 7 concerns us all, especially since many of the victims are citizens of European countries and because Europe is also exposed to the threat of terrorism. Several times, family members have said: Today it is us, tomorrow it will be you. Most of the terrorists were very young: it takes less than 20 years to create a generation of terrorists.
During all this time with the family hostages, we were impressed by their dignity, fortitude and vitality. They testified relentlessly, but also without anger. They had not a single word of hatred. They are brothers and sister of hostages captured in the kibbutz Kfar Haza. Kibbutz Kfar Haza was founded in 1951; it is located 2 km away from Gaza and is composed of pacifist families who believe in peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians. People from Gaza were also employed in this kibbutz.
Even if it is very difficult today, these Israelis aspire to just one thing: to be reunited with their loved ones and to live in peace with their neighbors and not under the permanent threat of extermination, which Hamas has sworn to do.