The Argentine government published Friday an appeal in major international newspapers, including The New York Times, to call for the release of at least 20 Argentines kidnapped by Hamas in Israel.
“Argentina, united, demands the immediate and unconditional release of those
kidnapped by Hamas, especially our compatriots,” wrote President Alberto Fernández in the appeal, adding that he is working to secure their release in coordination with other countries in the region.
Fernández called for “a humanitarian ceasefire to allow the delivery of aid” to Gaza. He said he would do everything in his power “not only for [the hostages] to be able to return to their homes and families soon but also with a view to reaching a peaceful and lasting solution” to the conflict in Israel and Palestine.
“Argentina has a long history of respect for international law and demands its full application,” the appeal said. “The safety and protection of civilians and hostages are both a legal and a moral obligation.”
The exact number of Argentine hostages is unknown because the Israeli government has not provided exact figures due to the war, a source from the Argentine government told the Herald. Argentine authorities believe over 20 of their citizens have been kidnapped.
The appeal was published in Israeli newspapers Israel Hayom, Yediot Ahronot, Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post, as well as El País, from Spain.
Fernández also held a virtual meeting with relatives of the Argentine hostages and Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero on Friday. “My priority and the entire government’s priority is to ensure the security of the hostages so they can return with their families,” he told them, according to a communiqué published on Friday.
“Obviously, the families showed their undeniable pain, but there was very good dialogue with the president,” a source from the government told the Herald.
Fernández committed to doing whatever he can to ensure the Argentines and all the other hostages are released, setting up talks with countries of the region like Qatar, Turkey and Egypt, as well as the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the source said.