NEW YORK -- A rally was held Wednesday morning on Manhattan's East Side, as demonstrators called for Hamas to be set free.by
CBS New York's Zinnia Maldonado was at the rally, where city leaders spoke, along with people who are missing family members. They called for their safe and immediate release.
Dozens of flyers were held up showing the names and faces of the nearly 200 people said to be held hostage by Hamas.
One man shared his story as he awaits any news about his cousin and her three children, who he said are being held somewhere unknown in Gaza.
"I don't know when I'm going to see them next," he said. "Prioritize the lives of all the innocent children and the innocent people who are caught in the crosshairs of bad actors. There's only one thing and only one thing to do right now: Bring them home. Bring them home."
- Read More:
Anat Zloof returned from Israel on Tuesday. She and her husband are now calling for the safety of Israelis and Palestinians.
"While I was on the phone with her, the sirens were running all the time," said Avi Zloof. "We want to give humanitarian relief to the people in Gaza, it's not against the Palestinians."
"Our hearts go out to the Palestinian people," Anat added.
- Read More:
The rally was hosted by several groups, including the American Jewish Committee and the UJC Federation of New York. A number of city officials, including Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, joined the calls for the release of innocent civilians.
"We are demanding the immediate and unconditional release of every single hostage held by Hamas. Every man and woman, every child, every senior citizen, every single one. We want them home safely," Levine said.
The death toll currently includes 30 U.S. citizens, according to a State Department spokesperson Sunday. Thirteen U.S. citizens remain unaccounted for.
for the latest on the war from CBS News.
for more features.