NEEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - A Boston-area man says he is pleading for his family members’ safe return after they were captured by Hamas during a series of attacks in Israel.

Jason Greenberg told 7NEWS several members of his family were taken hostage when gunmen stormed into southern Israel Saturday morning and killed hundreds of civilians during hours of violence that have since escalated into all-out war.

Members of Greenberg’s extended family include his aunt, his cousin, nieces and his 12-year-old nephew.

“My family went into their shelter in the home and Hamas lit fire to their house and smoked them out,” Greenberg said. “So, it’s terrifying to think what they’re going through right now.”

Greenberg said he himself had been in the country for the past few days, and was able to get out with his 79-year-old father via one of the last flights out of the region before airlines began canceling flights.

He said his sister was still in the country, but was in a safe area and had remained in constant contact.

After he landed, Greenberg said he saw video of his 13-year-old cousin being dragged from the their home.

“I felt powerless because I have at least five relatives that I know of where it has been confirmed they have been kidnapped by Hamas and their whereabouts and status is unknown,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg, a father of two, is now appealing to Hamas and whatever humanity they might have.

“My family members are being used as pawns,” Greenberg said.

“This isn’t going to change anything,” Greenberg said. “Killing hostages, taking hostages, it’s not going to work. It’s not going to stop Israel. And if anything, it’s going to make them deepen their resolve. So, let the pawns go.”

Greenberg said he had not been able to reach his family members as of Tuesday night.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Associated Press reported that per the Israeli government, some 150 soldiers and civilians were being held hostage.

The Israeli military said that more than 1,000 people had been killed in the country, with 830 people killed in Gaza and the West Bank, according to authorities there.

Israel officials have said that of that 830, hundreds were believed to be Hamas fighters, in addition to the 1,500 Hamas fighters found dead on Israeli territory.

More coverage on the war in Israel can be found here.

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