Families watch Hamas videos in horror in hopes of finding hostages
The aunt of a missing American told Scripps News she reviews videos by Hamas in hopes of finding her niece.LEARN MORE
In Tel Aviv, volunteers are campaigning on social media to share the plight of hostages in Gaza with the world.
TikTok — the high-energy home of influencers and artists, with its billions of views and almost limitless reach — has a new account that its creators hope and pray will stop your scrolling in its tracks.
It's called bringthemhomenow, and it's heart-wrenching.
The videos, featuring the families of the more than 200 hostages held by Hamas, are a gut-punch.
They were designed for maximum impact and maximum emotion, here in this social media war room in Tel Aviv.
The videos are produced by volunteers from Israel's tech community — writers, designers and social media strategists.
"We're working with TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter," Litan Leschiner said. "We have from English to Spanish, German and Dutch."
Leschiner put her marketing company on hold to volunteer here as head of the TikTok campaign.
SCRIPPS NEWS' JASON BELLINI: Are you helping the families of the hostages get their message out?
LITAN LESCHINER: They don't know how to use social media to spread the message to the world and ask for help. So we are here to help them. We are talking to them. We're getting the information. We're asking them what do they want to happen? And we make it happen.
It's an extraordinary act of courage on the part of these families — baring their pain to the world, speaking out for those who cannot.
"They're the one who are crying for help," Leschiner said. "They're the one who's begging and say, 'Bring our kids back.' [If you look it up] you'll see a mother saying, 'Help me bring my daughter. She's my best friend.'"
"We will show our story and we'll tell the story of those who can't," Leschiner said.
Here on this front line, Saray Cohen, whose sister and niece are missing, is determined to fight for their loved ones to the end.
"We will not stop until they are home," Cohen said. "We will talk to everyone who wants to hear the story."
Rachel Goldberg is running to the ends of the Earth to save her only son, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who is held hostage in Gaza.
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