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70 Israeli hostage relatives lead ‘Israel Day Parade’ of 50,000

Israeli hostage families at the Israel Day Parade in New York City, June 2, 2024 (Photo: Bring Them Home Now/X)

More than 70 relatives of Israeli hostages led the Israel Day Parade in New York City on Sunday.

NYC’s Fifth Avenue was filled with Israeli flags and images of Israeli hostages, as over 50,000 marchers called upon the Israeli government to secure the release of the many hostages still being held by Hamas in Gaza.

Many of the protesters held signs bearing the words, "BRING THEM HOME NOW," a slogan that has appeared on posters throughout Israel since the earliest days of the war.

The parade was joined by several Democratic leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, NY Governor Kathy Hochul and NYC Mayor Eric Adams.

NY Governor Kathy Hochul at the Israel Day Parade in New York City, June 2, 2024 (Photo: UJA-Federation of New York)

Aviva Siegel, who was captured by Palestinian terrorists on Oct. 7 along with her husband Keith, was also present at the rally. Siegel was released in November during the first deal between Israel and Hamas, however, her husband is still being held hostage in Gaza.

“When I was in captivity, I felt the energy being sent to me and knew people were doing everything to bring me home,” Aviva told the crowd. “I’m sure Keith feels it now, too. This parade and the tremendous support we receive here is another proof of the importance of the presence of Jews around the world. Together, we will bring everyone home.”

Eden Golan, Israel’s Eurovision star, at the Israel Day Parade before she receives United Hatzalah’s Hero Award, June 2, 2024 (Photo: UJA-Federation of New York)

Hostage family member Sharon Sharabi also attended the event. Sharon’s brother Yossi was taken captive by Hamas during the Oct. 7 invasion and attack on southern Israel's communities near the Gaza border.

According to the IDF, Yossi likely died as a result of an IDF airstrike, which targeted a building next to where he was being held.

Sharabi's brother Eli, whose wife and two daughters were murdered by Hamas on Oct. 7, is still being held hostage by terrorists in Gaza.

“We are feeling that the people of America sympathize with us and the NYPD [are] here with us,” Sharabi said regarding the Israeli solitary parade, according to The New York Post. “It’s a really good feeling, that it’s very safe here.

Counter-protestors were also present at the parade, accusing Israel of apartheid and genocide.

The annual Israel Day Parade, which is organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, has taken place on New York City’s Fifth Avenue since 1964.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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