Israel-Gaza crisis: Hamas releases new hostage video
Hamas has released a video featuring three women it claims are among the more than 230 individuals that Israel alleges were abducted by militants and taken to Gaza during attacks on October 7. The women, referred to by Hamas as "Zionist detainees," appear in a 76-second video, but their identities could not be immediately verified.
Hamas Releases Video of Alleged Captives
In the video, the women are seen sitting on plastic chairs against a white-tiled wall. One of them, speaking in Hebrew, implores Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a prisoner exchange for the release of all captives. As she speaks, her agitation grows, culminating in her almost screaming, while the other two women seated beside her remain silent.
When hundreds of Hamas gunmen stormed the border into southern Israel and attacked kibbutz communities, towns, and military bases, the aforementioned persons were among those taken hostage. Captives' ages span from infants to those well into their eightieth year.
The Israeli government believes that Hamas has taken the hostages to an underground tunnel complex in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Escalation and Consequences
The October 7 attacks led to Israel's most extensive and devastating response, with the country reporting that 1,400 individuals, primarily civilians, lost their lives. This prompted Israel to initiate the current Gaza conflict.
According to Gaza's health ministry, Israeli air and ground strikes have killed approximately 8,300 individuals in Gaza, the vast majority of whom were civilians. Women and children accounted for over half of the fatalities. The Israeli government has not yet issued a statement in response to Hamas's film.
Israeli authorities are under increasing scrutiny from their own citizens because of the captives. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant claimed on Sunday that the terrorists were engaging in "psychological games" with the fate of the hostages.
Hamas had previously released a video on October 16 showing Israeli-French hostage Mia Shem, which further intensified the crisis.