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Tri-State Area residents celebrating Hanukkah pleading for release of more hostages from Gaza

Area residents celebrating Hanukkah pleading for release of more hostages from Gaza
Area residents celebrating Hanukkah pleading for release of more hostages from Gaza 02:09

NEW YORK -- While many Israeli families are celebrating the return of their loved ones from being held hostage, they are still pleading for the release of more from Gaza. They told CBS New York on Sunday it's becoming more and more difficult to celebrate the holy days of Hanukkah.

Yair Moses recently found a picture of his dad lighting the fourth candle on the menorah. On Sunday night, the fourth night of Hanukkah, it's no celebration without him.

"This is something ... for us ... we can't do it without him now, so fourth candle we won't light this night," Moses said.

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His dad, 79-year-old Gadi Moses, was kidnapped on Oct. 7 and still hasn't been released. Yair Moses' mom, Margalit Moses, was kidnapped on the same day, but returned home on Nov. 24, when Israeli hostages were released, prioritizing women and children. She is seen on video from the organization Hostages and Missing Families Forum speaking in Hebrew.

"I did not sleep for 49 days. The state of being a hostage in the tunnels, wherever you are, is an unbearable, very difficult situation, and in unbearable conditions," Margalit Moses said.

"We are strong. We are here. We are waiting for him," Ella Ben Ami said.

Ben Ami is in the same situation as Yair Moses. Her dad is still held hostage after being kidnapped on Oct. 7 and her mom was released in late November. On video, she is seen pleading in Hebrew for her husband's release.

"You cannot handle it there. You cannot. They must take the hostages out of there. If we will not bring them out now, they will not get out alive," Ben Ami said.

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Ben Ami and Yair Moses traveled to the U.S. with Hostages and Missing Families Forum to spread awareness about their kidnapped loved ones. They believe it's a matter of when, not if, they return.

"I need this miracle. I need it. My dad will come," Ben Ami said.

"Releasing them home and bringing the hostages should be the number one priority and not just for the families of Israel, for the world, for humanity," Yair Moses said.

Qatar's prime minister said as efforts continue to release all hostages, he's not seeing the same willingness to have them released as weeks before. 

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