Family members of hostages taken by Hamas in Israel joined House Republican leaders in an emotional press conference Tuesday, pleading for help from the U.S.
Doris Liber, mother of 26-year-old Guy Iluz, recounted speaking to her son on the phone as she heard shots in the background and he described bodies everywhere.
“It’s been 30 days. Every day is like an eternity to me,” Lieber said, choking up. “I’m part of your people, you’re part of Israel and America has been like the best ally. I’m so proud of being an American, being an Israeli as well. But I do need you now.”
Yonatan Lulu-Shamariz and Ido Lulu-Shamiriz attended the press conference to represent their 26-year-old brother who was taken, Alon Shamriz.
“This is a wake-up call, Not only for Israel, not only for the Jewish community. This is a wake-up call for all of you — all of you here, all of America, all of Europe,” Yonatan Lulu-Shamariz said. “You are next. You are next.”
And Liran Berman came on behalf of his 26-year-old twin brothers, Ziv and Gali Berman.
“We have no clue what’s happened to them. We only know that they are in Gaza,” Liran Berman said.
The press conference marked one month since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel. The attack killed more than 1,400 people in Israel and more than 200 were taken hostage.
“We cannot waste any more time getting Israel the aid that it desperately needs,” Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said.
House Republicans, joined by 12 Democrats, passed a package last week that paired $14.3 billion in aid to Israel with cuts to a boost in IRS funding that Democrats pushed through in the last Congress — a pay-for that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has rejected.
But despite that rejection, Johnson urged the Senate to pass the package as-is.
The GOP leaders also beat back calls from activists for a cease-fire as Israel proceeds with its ground invasion of Gaza.
“This is not a time to be talking about ceasefires, pauses,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said. “Hamas gave that up on the 7th, when they went into villages and slaughtered people, when they attacked music festivals.”
“Israel is completely justified in its mission to eradicate Hamas once and for all,” House GOP Whip Tom Emmer (Minn.) said.
Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.), who had traveled to Israel last month to help evacuate Americans from the country, also spoke.
“We won’t forget America’s 9/11. Nor should we forget Israel’s Oct. 7,” Mills said.