Several thousand Israelis demonstrated Thursday in Jerusalem, urging the government not to yield to international pressure for a ceasefire, and to continue the Gaza war until Hamas is defeated.
Many demonstrators held up posters featuring images of fallen IDF soldiers alongside messages expressing their belief that they had entrusted Israel to pursue victory.
In their speech at the rally, Itzik and Noa Bonzel, the parents of Staff Sergeant Amit Bonzel, who fell in combat in the Gaza Strip, emphasized that "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the War Cabinet must heed the call and demand for total victory."
"Amit fell on December 6th. Just days before, he wrote in his journal, which was handed to us with his belongings, that he was proud to be a soldier in the IDF, and that 'the feeling is that we are in a historic operation, and we must finish it with a resounding victory.' We are committed to fulfilling Amit's and all the fallen soldiers' will."
The Bonzel couple addressed the families of the captives: "It is difficult for us to imagine the magnitude of pain, anxiety, and suffering you are enduring. We urge you in this tense and difficult time, amid negotiations for the release of the captives, not to see us as enemies but as brothers. Accept us, we fear that releasing more terrorists will harm Israel's deterrence. Do not view us as enemies when we demand to continue the fight and defeat Hamas. We are brothers."