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Israeli families desperate to get hostages home protest to demand action: ‘We have no time’

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(TEL  AVIV, Israel) — Some families of Israeli hostages say they have reached their breaking point and have begun to take extreme measures to express their frustration more than four months into the Israel-Hamas war.

Dozens of people have blocked traffic in recent days on Israeli highways, lit fires, thrown buckets of fake blood, and shouted chants calling on the government to work harder to bring the hostages home who were taken after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7.

Many of the protesters at a highway protest that took place a few weeks ago told ABC News that they knew they risked arrest, but after months of despair, and a growing desperation too see their loved ones again, they needed to do something.

Hamas and other Palestinian militants took roughly 250 people hostage on Oct. 7, and it is estimated about 130 hostages remain in Gaza.

At least 1,200 people have been killed and 6,900 others have been injured by Hamas and other Palestinian militants since Oct. 7, according to the Israeli officials.

At least 28,576 people have been killed and 68,291 others have been wounded in Gaza by Israeli forces since Oct. 7, according to Gaza’s Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health.

Shahar Mor, whose cousins were kidnapped and brought into Gaza on Oct. 7, was at the recent highway protest and told ABC News he was detained by Israeli authorities a week earlier but did not care.

“We have no time,” Mor said.

The highway protest was the latest in a series of protests by families aimed at officials. Last month, protesters burst into an Israeli Parliament finance committee meeting and began berating the parliamentarians.

“What if it was your family?” the protesters shouted.

The families said their anxiety has been growing, especially after learning about some of the horrors faced by hostages who have been returned.

Chen Goldstein Almog said she was held captive for seven weeks after she and her family were taken on Oct. 7. Before she was released, she was held captive in a Gazan tunnel and says she heard and witnessed sexual assaults on other female hostages.

“I know about four stories. You need to understand the statistics, I haven’t met all the girls there,” Almog said.

Yagil Yaakov was separated from his brother Or and the two were taken by different militant groups on Oct. 7. Their father was also taken.

For over 50 days, he was held by himself with no other captives and only given a transistor radio, he said.

“[I was] listening to the radio once in about an hour, hearing about people who were murdered, abducted,” Yaakov told ABC News.

Although he and his brother were returned to their mother after 52 days of captivity, Yaakov had told ABC News’ Matt Gutman he still has no word about his father.

“We really want a sign of life. We really want to know what’s going on with him, something,” he said.

On Thursday, Israel announced that Yagil’s father, Yair, is believed to have died in captivity.

In the meantime, Mor and other family members of the hostages said they would continue to raise their voices to the powers that be to get more movement.

“Does it help? We hope. We hope,” Mor said of his protests.

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