Nearly one month after its surprise terrorist attack on Israel, Hamas still holds over 200 hostages. And some of their relatives who traveled from Israel to the United States to rally support for their release are still waiting eagerly as the days continue to pass without word from their loved ones.
On Oct. 7, Shani Segal's cousin Rimon Kirsht and her husband were kidnapped from their home in kibbutz Nirim.
"At 8:30 in the morning, she left her mom a voice memo saying 'I love you. I love you so much. I'm sorry I'm not there for you.' And that was it," Segal told Scripps News.
A few days ago, Kirsht appeared in a video released by Hamas. A sign of life, perhaps, for her family. But also more excruciating pain.
"What I saw in that video was my cousin, skinny, scared, but she was not wearing glasses," Segal said. "How would you feel if for 26 days you will not be able to see?"
Tragically, Kirsht's husband, Yogev Bokhstab, was nowhere in sight.
"I can't even begin to explain to you how scared we are because Rimon and Yogev — if you talk about people that are in love and they're like glue, that's them," Segal added. "And to think that they are not together. I know how much my cousin needs her husband."
Also apart of the Israeli delegation traveling across the U.S. is Sandy Feldman. She has not heard from her sister since Hamas kidnapped her and her husband from their home in Kfar Aza.
"They managed to get messages only until 10 a.m.," Feldman told Scripps News. "And then we stopped hearing from them.
Feldman said her sister, Aviva Siegel, is a kindergarten teacher who has many grandchildren and adores babies.
"She's the kind of person that would go in the street and start speaking to a stranger and hug them and be their best friend," she added. "Like, very loving and caring."
Feldman hopes her sister is able to take care of the abducted children being held in Gaza with her.
"If she has babies to take care of then she's going to be OK when she comes back home," Feldman continued.
Both she and Shani Segal say, if needed, they'll travel the world to tell their stories repeatedly to keep their loved ones in the public eye as they urge politicians to call for their release.
"I want my cousin back. But I want all 242 hostages back. And I want to yell it to whoever is willing to hear me because we need to get them back," Segal said. "If we allow civilians to be taken from their home today, it will happen again tomorrow."
Feldman added that she's been impressed by the amount of support she has received during her time here. But said when she sees people in this country and elsewhere ripping apart missing persons posters, it hurts deeply.
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