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‘Uncertainty is suffocating’: Israeli hostage’s mom pens emotional letter as thousands rally to mark her birthday – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday to commemorate the 20th birthday of Naama Levy, who has been held captive in Gaza by Palestinian militant group Hamas since October 7th. The demonstrators, who released balloons and chanted rhythmically to the sound of drums, shared small cupcakes adorned with birthday candles while demanding the release of all hostages taken by Hamas following their deadly attack on Israel.
Yoni Levy, Naama’s 52-year-old father, wearing a shirt featuring his daughter’s picture, said, “She needs to be here with her family, with her friends.”
Amit, Naama’s older brother, shared memories of his sister with Reuters on Thursday, referring to a magazine photograph of her smiling face with the caption: “Bring Her Home”.He said, “I really can’t wait to see this smile when she comes back soon.”
Writing a letter to her daughter in the New York Post, Naama’s mother expressed her anguish, writing, “This is a letter no mother should ever have to write to her daughter. Today is your 20th birthday. You should be celebrating this occasion surrounded by friends and family. Instead, you are enduring your 260th day as a hostage in Gaza surrounded by terrorists.”
She continued, “The uncertainty and dread I experience is suffocating, and each passing day that you are not with us feels like an eternity. We will not stop fighting for you until you are home.”
Hamas militants released a video of Naama on October 7, showing her with her hands tied behind her back, wearing torn pyjamas, and visibly wounded. The video quickly spread on social media.
Naama had just started her service in the Israeli Defense Force when she was captured along with four other female army conscripts during the raid that sparked Israel’s war on Gaza.
The raid resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 people and the capture of more than 250 hostages by Hamas. Israel’s response in Gaza has so far claimed the lives of over 37,400 people, including 101 in the last 24 hours, according to Palestinian health authorities.

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