Prime Minister, bring them back no matter the cost

Opinion: After being held captive for 55 days I know the physical and emotional cost to those held hostage still, I agree to the release of those who murdered my father as part of the cost to free them

Nili Margalit|

Mr. Prime Minister imagine one of your dearest and closest is held hostage by Hamas. Can you picture that? I don't have to. I was there. I returned from that hell and for me that nightmare is not imagined. It is real.
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I know what the people held captive there are going through. I know what is happening to their bodies and their minds. The truth is that you do not want to image someone close and dear to you being held hostage, because the horrifying, horrendous and awful reality of that captivity is worse than anything imaginable.
Mr. Prime Minister, I know that it is impossible to comprehend what it is like to be an Israeli held captive, so I will try to describe a small part of the nightmare, a fragment of the long time in captivity, that drags on.
Our hostages there are wounded physically and emotionally. They are hungry and thirsty, because the little food and the murky water they are given cannot fill their stomach or quench their thirst. Their body is increasingly weakened, and their soul suffers intolerable pain.
Its over 117 days that they are without sleep. I did not sleep in the 55 days I was held hostage. It is impossible to sleep in the dark underground tunnels, on dirty and smelly mattresses – for the lucky ones, or the hard, cold floor for those less fortunate.
2 View gallery
תיעוד של תוואי המנהרה בחאן יונס בה הוחזקו חטופים
תיעוד של תוואי המנהרה בחאן יונס בה הוחזקו חטופים
An underground tunnel in Khan Younis where hostages were held
(Photo: IDF)
It is impossible to sleep with an AK-47 aimed at you 24/7, not knowing whether its day or night. It's impossible to sleep because the fear is debilitating, and the worse thoughts are unrelenting.
Mr. Prime Minister, time is running out. Its been nearly four months since dozens of the residents of Nir Oz and many more, are held there, in Gaza. Can you grasp that? Simple Israeli citizens who were cruelly taken on that black day, are still held hostage. Its been 117 days.
They are citizens of the country you lead, and they are without air or food. Their health is bad, I've seen it with my own eyes. They are not being treated, do not wash, do not receive their critical, life-saving medications, and can die at any moment. Mr. Prime Minister, they are out of time. Time has run out.
I do not want to thing of the sight of 136 coffins waiting at the Gaza border crossing into Egypt at Rafah, where I too passed waking on my own two feet. We will never be able to forgive ourselves, knowing that they could be saved and brought home alive. You, me, and the entire Israeli public want to see them all waking on their own feet, coming home, now.
2 View gallery
חטופים עוברים בצלב האדום
חטופים עוברים בצלב האדום
Nili Marglit being released from Hamas captivity in November
Please, Mr. Prime Minister. Don't fear making the necessary and courageous decision, that leadership demands. Don't be distracted by any consideration. Make a deal as quickly as you can. Only the return of the hostages, will allow us to unite after the terrible catastrophe we experienced.
I know there will be a heavy price to pay, that could include freeing the murders who killed my dear father, whose body was taken to Gaza. But our future as a society is at stake, therefore we will face the cost together and win.
נילי מרגליתנילי מרגלית
You in your own words described Israeli people as unique in their commitment to each other. You said you always knew as a soldier, that if you or any of your comrades would be taken hostage, the Israeli government would do all in its power to bring you home. You said as much when the last hostage deal ended adding that as the prime minister you believed this commitment is more than mere words, it is the foundation of our existence here. Mr. Prime Minister, the time is now. You cannot squander the opportunity to bring the hostages back alive. You may not get another chance.
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