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Will Hamas release more hostages? US family fears time is running out

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Omer Neutra’s absence hangs on a dog tag around his father’s neck, declaring in Hebrew that his heart is held captive in Gaza. It’s displayed in his face emblazoned on his dad’s T-shirt and in the photos taped to empty chairs at holiday tables.

His absence drives his mother’s daily inner talks with her missing son, and her plans for a new apartment to be waiting for him to rebuild his life. It flickers in the candles his parents lit and watched burn down to the chocolate icing on his 22nd birthday.

For three months, it has fueled Ronen and Orna Neutra’s all-consuming mission to free their son, who grew up on Long Island, New York, and deferred college to spend a year in Israel, leading him into the Israeli army and, on Oct. 7, to his apparent capture by Hamas.



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