Hamas says Israel refused to accept 2 hostages; Israel calls it propaganda | News about the conflict between Israel and Palestine

Hamas captured around 210 people during its deadly raid in southern Israel on October 7 and they are being held in undisclosed locations in Gaza.

Hamas says it offered to release two Israelis captured during its deadly attack, but the Israeli government refused to take them. Israel described the claim as “deceptive propaganda”.

Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said the Qatari mediator was notified of the group’s intention to release the Israelis on Friday, the same day it released Americans Judith Tai Ranaan and her daughter Natalie.

“We informed our Qatari brothers yesterday evening that we will release Nurit Itzhak and Yokefed Lifshitz for humanitarian reasons and without expecting anything in return. However, the Israeli occupation government refused to accept them,” Obeida said on Telegram on Saturday.

Hamas captured around 210 people during its deadly raid in southern Israel on October 7 and they are being held in undisclosed locations in Gaza.

In a brief statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said: “We will not talk about false Hamas propaganda. We will continue to act in every way to bring all abducted and missing people home.

Qatar, which helped secure Friday’s release, had no immediate comment.

In a later statement, Obeida said Hamas was still prepared to release the two men on Sunday “using the same procedures” involved in releasing the Americans.

“Refused to take them”

Hamas spokesman Khaled al-Qadoumi told Al Jazeera that the Israeli government was “not serious” about releasing the captives.

“We have offered to hand over those prisoners who are in a dire humanitarian situation for purely humanitarian reasons. We wanted to hand them over to their families, but the government is not serious. Unfortunately, the government of Israel refused to take them.

Al-Kadumi said Israel had not given a reason for not accepting the offer.

Those detained by Hamas include women, children, the elderly, people from other countries – who worked for their release – and Israeli soldiers.

Akiva Eldar, an Israeli political analyst, author and journalist, said that if Hamas wanted to release hostages, it could hand them over to groups like the International Committee of the Red Cross or let them cross into Egypt.

“If it’s not part of a quid pro quo or something else that Israel has to give in return, then it’s very simple — just like they allowed the two American citizens to cross the border with the help of the Red Cross,” he noted.

“Very soon” the hostages will be released

A spokesman for Qatar’s foreign ministry said Friday’s release of the American hostages came after “many days of continuous communication with all parties.”

Majed al-Ansari, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that Qatar hoped all the captives would be released soon.

“I can’t promise you that it will happen today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. But we are taking a path that will very soon lead to the release of the hostages, especially civilians,” Al-Ansari said.

“We are currently working on an agreement whereby all civilian hostages will be initially released.”

Hamas’s multi-pronged attack on Israel, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and wounded around 3,500 others on October 7.

Israel responded with intense airstrikes against Gaza, leveling once densely populated neighborhoods and imposing a complete blockade on the enclave. Nearly 4,400 people in Gaza were killed and 13,500 wounded in two weeks of fighting.

With forces massed at the Gaza barrier, Israel threatened a ground invasion to “destroy Hamas.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *