The family of a Long Island-raised Israeli-American man who is being held hostage by Hamas is pleading with those in power to help bring 22-year-old Omer Neutra back home.
Neutra’s parents sat down with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell after standing on the border with Hamas-run Gaza “so close to Omer,” his mother, Orna Neutra, said at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. It was there that they and the families of other hostages held a vigil to mark 100 days passed since Oct. 7, when Hamas attacked Israel and abducted nearly 240 people, including many civilians.
“We are pressing for action from anybody that we see,” his father, Ronen Neutra, told Mitchell. “Whether it’s the State Department or FBI or Israeli authorities.”
“It’s been too long, it’s too dangerous,” agreed Orna.
Many hostages’ families are now pushing for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, which promptly responded to the attacks with an offensive.
“Whatever they’ve achieved so far, they can continue doing that after they bring (the hostages) out alive,” said Orna.
The Neutras, who are both descended from Holocaust survivors, emigrated to the States from Israel in 2000.
Neutra enlisted in the IDF as part of a gap year before starting college. Though his parents were aware of the risks, Orna said they “could never imagine this situation.”
“He was in his tank with his team and they were ambushed” on the border of Gaza on Oct. 7, said his mother. “They forced them out and they took them.”
Hamas attacked Israeli civilians on Oct. 7 at the Nova music festival and in their homes, leaving an estimated 1,200 dead. While some hostages have been released amid brief ceasefires, more than 130 are still being held captive.
Over 24,000 Palestinians have been killed as part of the responding offensive, according to Gaza’s health ministry.