Hamas claims seven hostages were killed

Hamas said on Friday that seven of the hostages held in the Gaza Strip had passed away. The group claimed that a “number” of its militants were also slain and attributed the killings to Israeli shelling. It stated that there may be more than 70 captives slain at this point. The BBC has not been able to confirm this on its own. It was unclear right away if these fatalities included the 31 hostages that Israel says have already passed away. Israel has not yet commented, and Hamas has not offered any supporting documentation.


When gunmen attacked southern Israel on October 7, Hamas captured 253 prisoners and killed about 1,200 people. In retaliation, Israel began a massive air and military war to eliminate Hamas. The UN is issuing a warning of an impending famine in the country’s north, and the Hamas-run health ministry reports that over 30,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza as a result. As part of a temporary truce agreement with Israel, Israel freed 240 Palestinian inmates in exchange for Hamas releasing 105 captives in November. Israel claims that there are still over a hundred hostages being kept in Gaza.


When the captives’ purported deaths occurred is unknown. The armed wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, posted a statement on their Telegram account. Spokesman Abu Obeida seemed to imply that the group was still open to a compromise whereby Israel released prisoners in exchange for the hostages being released. “We affirm that the price we will take in exchange for five or 10 living prisoners is the same price we would have taken in exchange for all the prisoners if the enemy’s bombing operations had not killed them,” added the spokesperson. One of the main objectives of the months-long peace negotiations in Qatar is the release of hostages.

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