Hamas releases a new video of Israeli hostages

The video concludes with the display of a message: “Tomorrow we will inform you of their fate”

In a video released on Sunday, Hamas presented footage featuring three Israeli hostages currently held in Gaza. The hostages, Noa Argamani (26), Yossi Sharabi (53), and Itai Svirsky (38), urged their government to cease the offensive against the Palestinian Islamist group. The release coincided with the 100th day of the ongoing conflict.

The undated 37-second video concluded with a chyron displaying the message: “Tomorrow we will inform you of their fate.” Hamas, on the same day, reported losing contact with some hostages during Israeli shelling in Gaza, raising concerns about new casualties. The group had previously threatened to execute hostages in response to Israeli military actions at the beginning of the war.

Israeli officials have generally refrained from responding to Hamas’ public communications regarding the hostages, attributing it to psychological warfare. Hagar Mizrahi, a forensic official from Israel’s Health Ministry, stated on December 31 that autopsies on recovered hostages contradicted Hamas’ claims of deaths resulting from airstrikes.

Acknowledging the risks to hostages during its offensive, Israel emphasized the need for precision in its military operations. Rear-Admiral Daniel Hagari, chief armed forces spokesperson, stated on Sunday, “The military operation takes time. It obligates us to be precise, and we are adapting it in accordance with the threats and the hostages who are in the field.”

Out of the 240 individuals seized by Hamas on October 7 in a cross-border killing spree that triggered the conflict, approximately half were released in a November truce. According to Israel, 132 hostages remain in Gaza, and 25 of them have reportedly died while in captivity.

The hostage crisis has shocked Israelis affected by what they consider the most significant attack in their history. Some relatives of the hostages have called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pursue another truce or halt the war. Netanyahu, however, has pledged to continue the fight until Hamas is dismantled, asserting that such action would facilitate the release of the hostages.

In a parliamentary address last month, Netanyahu revealed that he had sought assistance from Beijing to secure the release of Noa Argamani, whose mother Liora, suffering from a terminal illness, has pleaded to be reunited with her daughter before her death.

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