Families of Hostages Kidnapped By Hamas Rally to Put Pressure on the U.N.

In Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, just steps away from the United Nations headquarters, pro-Israel demonstrators on Tuesday laid out over 200 pairs of shoes — one pair for each person held hostage by Hamas.

As ambassadors from around the world gathered at the U.N. to discuss the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza, family members of the hostages and Israeli officials were joined at the plaza by supporters rallying for greater action on securing the return of those who were abducted by Hamas on Oct. 7, the day the terrorist group invaded Israel.

“We’re not satisfied knowing that it’s been 17 days and nothing seems to be moving,” said Orna Neutra, whose son, Omer Neutra, is being held in Gaza. “This is a world crisis, it’s not just our personal crisis. There were at least 33 citizens of different countries in the world. Where are they? Everyone needs to speak up.”

Ronen Neutra, Omer’s father, said his family had no idea where Omer was or what condition he might be in. Omer was serving as a soldier in the Israeli military on the border with Gaza when he was abducted, but he grew up in New York.

“We are calling all the international world countries to unite and work together in helping those innocent people, the innocent families, and bring them back,” Mr. Neutra said.

Alana Zeitchik, whose six family members were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz, the site of a brutal attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, said her goal was to share her family’s story and keep the spotlight on those who were still missing.

Ms. Zeitchik’s cousin Sharon Cunio, Sharon’s husband David Cunio, and their 3-year-old twin daughters, Emma and Julia, were believed to have been abducted, as was Ms. Zeitchik’s cousin Danielle Alony and her 5-year-old daughter, Amelia.

“The world is very divided, but I’m not an expert on that,” Ms. Zeitchik said. “I’m an expert on loving my family. Everyone should understand what that feels like, to love your family so much. And I want our families home.”