Relatives of people kidnapped and killed by Hamas in Israel on October 7 have made an emotional appeal to the Australian people and government to support them in their attempts to free the remaining hostages held in Gaza, the strip of territory currently under attack by the Israeli Defense Forces.
Standing in front of Parliament House, Tali Kizhner told how her son Segev was found in a bomb shelter with three bullets in his body. His friend Ayelet Arnin was also killed there. Their friend Alon Ohel was captured by Hamas and his situation is unknown. The three of them were 22.
"He only went to dance in the music festival," the tearful mother said of her son.
"And then Hamas did their despicable attack. The kids, they found a place in the bomb shelter. Hamas comes there. They throw the grenades. They kidnapped Alon.
My daughter is asking 'Mum, why did they kill Segev? Why do people hate us so much?' And I do not know what to answer to her."- Tali Kizhner
"And then they came back just to confirm that the kids would be killed - so you've got three bullets, in his head, in his chest and his belly," she said of her son.
"I have two kids at home, 17 years old and nine years old, and my daughter is asking 'Mum, why did they kill Segev? Why do people hate us so much?' And I do not know what to answer to her."
Elad Levy talked about his 19-year-old niece Roni Eshel who had been missing since the massacre until two weeks ago. After five weeks, her DNA was identified and she was confirmed as having died on the day itself.
"Two weeks ago, we received a notice that she was confirmed dead. They were able to match her DNA. She was actually dead on October 7," he said.
In the five weeks when her situation was unknown, the uncle said, "We left no stone unturned in our search for Roni, speaking to people trying to find out as much information about her wellbeing. After she was confirmed dead, we held her funeral and since then we are mourning."
There were six other young women with Roni. They were kidnapped. Mr Levy said that one was murdered by Hamas in the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. (Hamas has been accused of using the hospital as a shield against Israeli attack).
"Her body was recovered by the IDF," he said. "Five others are still missing."
How can Australians help?
He spelt out what he wants the Australian people to do.
"I would like the Australian people to focus on two things for us.
"One is to help and assist us to find out and pressure the international NGOs like the Red Cross - human rights organisations - to find and to get more information and ultimately release all the hostages in captivity.
"All of them.
"The second thing is that we ask from the Australian people and the Australian government to support the State of Israel and the Israeli government in their effort - its a military effort right now - to wipe out Hamas, the terror organisation which needs to be eradicated.
"This is the terror organisation which is rejecting everything that we have as shared values as Australian and Israeli people."