Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger met on Thursday with relatives of three hostages kidnapped by Hamas and held captive in Gaza to express his support for those whose relatives are still missing after the Oct. 7 attack.
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Schwarzenegger gave bronze figurines in the shape of an eagle to his visitors, and they, in turn, gave Schwarzenegger metal badges with the inscription "Bring Them Home".
Declaring himself "a great friend of the Jewish people and Israel," Schwarzenegger said he wanted to reinforce the message not to abandon those still in captivity. Israel says the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which rules Gaza, in the Oct. 7 attack took 240 hostages and killed about 1200,<> people.
During the seven-day ceasefire, which ended yesterday, officials said 110 hostages 86 Israelis and 24 foreign nationals had been released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and the bodies of two dead hostages had been recovered by Israeli troops.
Israeli army confirms death of five hostages in Gaza Strip
"I see my role here because when you're a celebrity, you have some power to communicate with the masses, because you're surrounded by a lot of cameras," said Schwarzenegger, a former bodybuilding champion and Hollywood screen star whose career in show business was interrupted by his tenure as governor from 2003 to 2011.
The meeting was organized by the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem.
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