Gaza War

Members' Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly am 12:45 pm ar 15 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Paul Frew Paul Frew DUP 12:45, 15 Ebrill 2024

Mr Speaker, I appreciate that. We are all, I think, horrified at the escalation of the war in the Middle East, with the recent attack that Iran has perpetrated on Israeli soil for the first time in history. We see the horrors that war brings and the innocent victims who suffer war. However, I want to talk about a group of people who have been forgotten about: the 129 people who were lifted from their homes, who witnessed their family being slaughtered on 7 October and who, to this day, remain captive. For more than six months, they have been hidden away underground, in tunnels, with no daylight and very little food, and treated appallingly.

We all can see and think about six months, but those people — the Israeli hostages who were taken by Hamas — fight a war of personal attrition in which they do not know whether they will stay alive for another hour, when they are going to eat or have a sup of water or when they are going to receive medical attention, and they do not know when they are going to be molested again. Think also of their families who sit at home awaiting the safe return of those hostages, not knowing whether they will ever see their loved ones again. Within that number are two babies who were nine months old on 7 October, and no one knows whether they are alive or dead.