Israel confirm deaths of 22 hostages in Gaza

Israeli officials stated that 22 of the hostages still held in Gaza are confirmed deceased.

Posters of hostages taken by Hamas from Israel
Photo courtesy of Oleg Yunakov Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

The Israeli government spokesperson, Eylon Levy, in a press conference in Jerusalem, accused Hamas of their deaths, urging the Red Cross to intensify efforts in aiding the most vulnerable captives, claiming some have been “buried alive” during their captivity.

Levy emphasized that among the 129 hostages still held, 22 have been confirmed dead and are allegedly in Hamas’ custody. He urged the Red Cross to provide increased support, especially to the most vulnerable captives, who he alleges have been subjected to harrowing conditions.

Among those held, 110 hostages, comprising 86 Israelis and 24 foreigners, have been released alive. Israeli forces have also recovered the bodies of eleven individuals, including three mistakenly killed by Israeli soldiers.

Of the estimated 129 still abducted, 118 are Israeli nationals, and 11 are foreigners, including the 22 reported deceased by Israeli authorities.

Israel initiated a conflict against the Islamist group as a response to Hamas attacks in Israeli territory, launching a military offensive in Gaza resulting in at least 21,110 deaths and 55,243 injuries, primarily affecting children and women, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, controlled by Hamas.

The attacks persisted except for a seven-day ceasefire in November brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the United States, which facilitated the release of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli prisons.

The hostilities have only been interrupted by a seven-day ceasefire that was brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the United States in November, which allowed for the exchange of 105 hostages for 240 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

The ceasefire also facilitated the delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza. However, the ceasefire collapsed on November 28, when Hamas resumed its rocket attacks and Israel resumed its airstrikes, leading to a new escalation.

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