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„Free the Children Now!“

by Johannes Sosada

On November 15 and 16, 2023, a group of relatives of hostages abducted in the Gaza Strip visited Germany.

In the course of Hamas' brutal terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, over 200 people were abducted to the Gaza Strip and have been held there for over five weeks. Among the hostages are at least 34 children. 20 of them are now orphans without knowing it, as the terrorists killed their parents. Impressive initiatives have been formed in Israel to free the hostages, which have also met with a great response internationally. On November 15 and 16, 2023, a group of relatives of hostages abducted in the Gaza Strip visited Germany: Gilad Korngold, Avihai Brodutch and Batsheva Yahalomi Cohen with their daughter Yael. All of them had family members - partners, children or grandchildren - abducted to the Gaza Strip. Talks were held with the Qatari Embassy, Bundestag President Bärbel Bas, Finance Minister Christian Lindner, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael Roth, and the Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group for Foreign Affairs, Johann Wadephul, as well as other members of the Bundestag and the Federal Chancellery. The delegation also took part in the commemoration of the Reichspogromnacht in the Berlin House of Representatives. A press conference was held at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation on Wednesday afternoon.

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At the beginning of the press conference, the relatives described their terrible experiences. Batsheva Yahalomi Cohen comes from the kibbutz Nir Oz. On October 7, she was abducted from the kibbutz together with her husband and three children. By chance, she managed to escape on the way to the Gaza Strip with her two daughters (10 years and 18 months). Her injured husband and son were abducted and have been held hostage in the Gaza Strip for over 40 days. Avihai Brodutch lived with his wife and their three children (10, 8 and 4 years old) in Kibbutz Kfar Azza. Avihai's entire family was abducted. He described the appalling situation of absolute uncertainty with no further information about his family's whereabouts or state of health. Gilad Korngold comes from the Beeri kibbutz. His son, his wife and both grandchildren (8 and 3 years old) were taken hostage by Hamas. Like Batsheva and Avihai, his appeal was to release the kidnapped children: "free the children now, tomorrow can be too late!"

In the subsequent discussion with the journalists present, the relatives emphasized the positive attitude and strong commitment of the people in the kibbutz and their desire for peace. Many of those murdered and abducted were or are involved in dialog and peace initiatives. With reference to the uniqueness of the relationship with Germany, great thanks were expressed to the interlocutors - and thus also to the Qatari embassy - for helping to publicize their fate and that of their relatives and to campaign for the release of the hostages. The urgent appeal "help us to save the children - no child should be part of this war" was at the forefront of the talks.

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Dr. Beatrice Gorawantschy


Director KAS European Office +32 2 66931-51 +32 2 66931-62

Dr. Jochen Blind

Jochen Blind

Press spokesman +49 30 26996-3227


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About this series

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its educational institutions, centres and foreign offices, offer several thousand events on various subjects each year. We provide up to date and exclusive reports on selected conferences, events and symposia at In addition to a summary of the contents, you can also find additional material such as pictures, speeches, videos or audio clips.