Hamas releases 2 hostages, accuses Israel of not accepting them

NEW DELHI | Updated: 24 October, 2023 6:10 pm IST
The two hostages were seen being escorted by two Hmas militants while being dropped at the Rafah Border

The two hostages have been identified as Nurit Yitzhak and Yochved Lifshitz, who had been captured and taken off to the Gaza Strip

NEW DELHI: Palestinian militant group Hamas released two hostages through “Egyptian-Qatari” mediation while alleging that the Israeli authorities were refusing to accept the hostages into its territory, “neglecting the safety of their prisoners”, on Tuesday.

The two hostages have been identified as Nurit Yitzhak and Yochved Lifshitz, who had been captured and taken off to the Gaza Strip. Hamas’ statement read, “We in the Al-Qassam Brigades, through Egyptian-Qatari mediation, released the two detainees, Nurit Yitzhak and Yochved Lifshitz, despite the enemy refusing since last Friday to accept their receipt, and is still neglecting the safety of their prisoners.”

The armed faction of the insurgent organisation stated that the captives were set free due to “compelling humanitarian grounds.” Moreover, they indicated that the hostages were liberated with the aim of negotiating a truce along the Gaza Strip. The two females were transported to the Rafah Border and released at the Palestine-Egypt border crossing.

 

Earlier, the militant group had released two American nationals Judith Tai Raanan, and her daughter, Natalie Shoshana Raanan, who had been taken hostage.

Lifshitz had told the media that they had had all of their needs looked after in Gaza, where they were taken through “snake-like” tunnels. The 80-year-old added that the Hamas militants took great care of the prisoners and shared their food too. However, many have claimed that her testimony of being a Hamas hostage was being fed to her by the militants to ensure the safe release of her husband.

According to media reports, Hamas has claimed that they will release another 50 hostages, while Red Cross officials are allegedly on their way to getting the hostages with dual citizenship rescued from Hamas’ hold. The Israeli government, on Monday, had increased the tally of hostages with the militant group to 222.

Presently, the Israel Defence Force is awaiting an “unrelenting” military advance against the Palestinians. The military spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, said that the army is “ready and determined” for the next stage in the war and awaiting further instructions. He estimated that the battle would go on for a longer time.

The Israeli government had launched its offensive following the Hamas infiltration that caused the deaths of over 1,200 civilians. On the other hand, as of now, the death toll in Palestine has crossed the 5,000 mark, according to the Palestinian health officials.

ALSO READ: Meet Yahya Sinwar: After 24 years in Israeli jail, he led Hamas attacks

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