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Israelis observe nationwide strike seeking release of their hostages from Hamas

TEL AVIV: In Israel, a nationwide 100-minute labor strike brought hundreds of shops, restaurants, and businesses to a standstill across the country.

The strike was organized to mark the 100th day since the Hamas group abducted hostages on October 7. Employers and employees, including those in universities and retail chains, suspended their operations from 11 a.m. for 100 minutes.

Arnon Bar-David, chairman of the Histadrut labor union, granted the families’ request for the strike to raise awareness about their demand for the return of the hostages.

Several tech firms and major businesses participated in the solidarity act, including Playtika, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Aviv real estate and construction group, Altshuler Shaham investment house, and leading law firms nationwide.

The Israel Bar Association and The Teachers Association also joined the effort.

Major retail and food chains in Israel’s main shopping malls, such as Fox, Fox Home, Foot Locker, Laline, Mango, American Eagle, Flying Tiger, Nike, Cafe Cafe, and McDonald’s, closed their doors for 100 minutes and conducted solidarity and support ceremonies. BIG Shopping Center CEO Hay Galis expressed the unprecedented nature of commercial businesses shutting down on such a large scale. The 100-minute shutdown took place in all 24 BIG malls across the country.

During the ceremony held outside the Yehud BIG Shopping Center amid rainy weather, family members of current and former hostages, along with BIG shopping Centers management representatives and employees, gathered to express their support. They wore yellow shirts with the message: “100 days without them, bring them home now.”

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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