Hamas says lost contact with group holding 5 Israeli hostages in Gaza
Gaza: Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has said that it has lost contact with a group holding five Israeli hostages in the Gaza Strip, fearing some of the hostages may have been killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for the Brigades, said in a statement on Saturday that the Brigades had lost contact with the group “during an Israeli raid”, Xinhua news agency reported.
He reported the names of three out of the five hostages, indicating that the Qassam Brigades suspect their deaths in one of the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, while did not give further details to the other two hostages.
The Israeli military did not immediately comment.
The hostages are among an estimated 129 Israelis and foreigners who have been held by Hamas since it launched a surprise raid into southern Israel on October 7. Hamas has demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the hostages.
During a weeklong humanitarian truce that ended Nov. 30, Hamas freed 86 Israeli captives, including women and children, as well as 24 foreigners.