Bay Area man hopes for relatives held hostage by Hamas as report says temporary cease-fire in works

Tara Campbell Image
Sunday, November 19, 2023
Bay Area man holds onto hope for relatives held hostage by Hamas
A Pacifica resident continues to hold onto hope for relatives held hostage by Hamas as a new report says that a temporary cease-fire deal is underway.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Calls were coming from protestors in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv Saturday for the safe return of more than 200 hostages still being held by Hamas, in wake of the Israeli Defense Forces announcing it found two of the hostages dead.

"This is everybody's nightmare," said Pacifica resident Oren Rubenstein, referring to his relative, 65-year-old hostage Yehudit Weiss, whose body was found in a house near Al-Shifa hospital.

"I think the hopes and dreams of every single family that has hostages is that they come home alive," he said.

Rubenstein has been putting up posters of the hostages throughout San Francisco, three of which feature three more of his relatives who were kidnapped when Hamas attacked kibbutz Be' eri, killing more than 100 people.

EXCLUSIVE: Bay Area man with captured family helping keep Hamas hostages in the spotlight

One man is putting up posters in San Francisco of the more than 200 hostages being held by Hamas as his cousin, his cousin's wife and their daughter are all among the kidnapped.

Tara Campbell: "You have three other relatives. Where does it leave you with them?"

Oren Rubenstein: "Well, I'm going there, and I'll be there on Tuesday. And like here, there are vigils. And marches and rallies and demands their governments find to release these hostages."

And those demands may have been heard. The Washington Post reported Saturday night that Israel and Hamas have reached a tentative deal to cease-fire for five days to free dozens of women and children being held hostage in Gaza. The report says the release could begin within the next several days.

MORE: Israel searches for traces of Hamas in raid of key Gaza hospital packed with patients

Meanwhile Rubenstein is leaving for Tel-Aviv on Monday to start raising money to rebuild the kibbutz and to help the children displaced.

"Having lost their parents, their friends, their relatives, their teachers, their homes, their communities and everything they have and give them some measure of joy," said Rubenstein, who set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of bringing some normalcy back into their lives.

"We're going to be buying bicycles and sports equipment. We asked them what they wanted and of course, Steph Curry jerseys and Draymond Green and all of that. Same things that kids want here."

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