Ella Elyakim
Ella ElyakimIDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Hostages Families Forum Headquarters on Sunday called on the Cabinet to resume negotiations for a hostage release deal, following the release of footage featuring sisters Ella and Dafna Elyakim while in Hamas captivity.

“Today, we were exposed to footage filmed by Hamas terrorists documenting sisters Ella Elyakim (8) and Dafna Elyakim (15) during their days in captivity. Both girls were released after 51 days. On October 7th, the girls witnessed the murder of their father, his partner, and her son in front of their eyes. The Elyakim family was brutally torn apart by this heinous act of terror,” the statement said.

“The captivity of children is a war crime, and using them as shown in the footage is criminal, abominable, and proves once again how much the Hamas terror organization deserves condemnation. The footage is a stark reminder of the inhumane conditions and psychological terror that Hamas has subjected the 128 hostages and their families to for 226 days. It underscores the urgent need to secure the release of all those held captive in Hamas's tunnels, where they remain at the mercy of murderers.”

“We call upon the War Cabinet and the Prime Minister to immediately resume negotiations and bring about the release of all the hostages - the living for rehabilitation and the murdered for burial. We urge the international community to unite in condemning Hamas for its horrific actions and to continue applying pressure to ensure the release of all hostages,” the statement concluded.

IDF soldiers in Gaza in recent days located the video showing the two sisters, who were kidnapped from their father's home in Nahal Oz during the October 7 massacre.

In the footage, Ella is seen standing in front of the flag of Hamas' military wing the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and says, "I'm Ella Elyakim, the daughter of Noam, and I'm eight years old. And I ask that someone frees us from Hamas captivity."

IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari commented on the video, stating,"The video, which is being released today for the first time, was intended to be used by Hamas for psychological terror. But Ella’s family asked us to share it with the world to expose Hamas's terror, to expose Hamas's cruelty, to expose Hamas's barbarism."

He added that Elyakim “told us that Hamas terrorists forced her to read from a script, forced her to change her clothes, and forced her to re-film this terrifying scene over and over and over again."