A Free the Hostages rally was held by the United Nations Wednesday morning, with families of hostages kidnapped by Hamas pleading that their loved ones not be forgotten.
An estimated 200 people were taken hostage during Hamas’ terror attacks a week and a half ago, including a number of children and Americans.
One of those attending the rally, Shany Granotlubaton, was standing in unity with the families only to suddenly find out at the press conference that her relatives - a mother and her 3 children - are among the kidnapped.
"Just literally a couple of minutes ago we got the message that the mother and 3 of the children are alive in Gaza. And it’s just so surreal for us not to know what’s going on with them." Granotlubaton said.
Moshe Emiliolavi was also on hand - calling for the release of his brother-in-law, Omri Mira. The soft-spoken 46-year-old was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists during the attacks a week and a half ago.
Moshe credits Omri for being extra involved in his daughter's upbringing, so Moshe’s sister could focus on career development.
"We just want to make sure the hostages are not forgotten in the midst of this ongoing tragedy," Emiliolavi said, reiterating that the hostages must be at the top of the list for discussions between any of the parties involved.
Shortly after the Free the Hostages rally, other rallies were once again held in different parts of the city. Hundreds gathered outside the CUNY location on 5th Avenue and 34th Street in support of Palestinians. Many expressed worry for the safety of innocent civilians and children in Gaza.
"I grieve for the loss of any innocent life and I hope to live in a world that doesn’t include the level of parity and radicalism, and hate for people for what they are, whether they are choose Muslims or anything else,"