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Jewish chorus blows shofar to mark 155 days of captivity for Gaza hostages

LONDON — The cacophonous wail of the shofar was loud, mournful and lasted nearly two minutes as dozens of Jews blew on rams’ horns Sunday to wake up others to the plight of the estimated 100 hostages still held in Gaza.

Demonstrators standing in the rain outside a London mosque blew on the long, curling horns and chanted “bring them home” to mark the 155 days that hostages have been held in captivity.

“The shofar is such a significant icon,” said Marcel Knobil, who organized the “Blow for Hostages” event. “Some equate it with a sound of crying mothers and how appropriate that is to today’s event, especially being Mother’s Day. It’s also said to represent hope and we are all bursting with hope for the release of the hostages.”

Nearly five months into the Israel-Hamas war, they said they remain hopeful the remaining hostages will be released, but are growing increasingly desperate for a resolution and fear that the world is losing interest in their cause.

Hamas has refused to release all of the estimated 100 hostages it holds, and the remains of around 30 more, unless Israel ends its offensive, withdraws from Gaza, and releases a large number of Palestinian prisoners, including senior terrorists serving life sentences.

Demonstrations by Jews and Palestinians have been regular fixtures in London on weekends since the war began Oct. 7 with the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel that killed some 1,200 people and saw 250 others taken hostage. Israel responded with a retaliatory invasion of the Gaza Strip that so far has seen more than 30,000 Palestinians killed.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of Palestinian supporters marched peacefully through central London calling for a cease fire. Some were draped in green, black and red Palestinian flags while others held signs for a “Free Palestine.”

Knobil said similar shofar events were held elsewhere around the world — from New York to Jerusalem to Thailand.

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