Hamas says 200-250 Israeli captives held in Gaza
Gaza: Al-Qassam Brigades, armed wing of the Hamas militant group, said there were 200 to 250 Israeli hostages in Gaza who were captured after the October 7 attack
In a televised address on Monday, Abu Obaida, spokesperson of the Al-Qassam Brigades, said the Hamas is holding 200 prisoners, while “the rest are captured by other resistance factions in the Gaza Strip”, reports Xinhua news agency.
The spokesman added that they cannot determine the exact number of hostages in the besieged enclave due to constant Israeli bombardment.
Obaida added that the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed at least 22 Israelis, including Guy Olives, a Tel Aviv-based artist.
He noted that foreigners were not prisoners in Gaza, and they will be released when “the opportunity arises on the ground”.
The spokesman asserted that the Al-Qassam is “committed” to protecting them. but warned that any foreign national serving with the Israeli military will be considered a “direct enemy”.
Meanwhile, former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal claims that the militant group has “enough hostages”, including high ranking officers from the Gaza division of the Israeli Defense Forces, to release thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
“One of this battle’s goals was to take Israeli soldiers and officers hostage to clear Zionist prisons from our own people,” CNN quoted Meshaal as saying to Alaraby TV in a live interview on Monday
He added that Hamas will be dealing with civilians and foreign nationals differently.
“Military hostages have their own calculations, civilians and foreign nationals have others. Hamas leadership will deal with hostages in accordance with international and humanitarian law.”