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Israel sees ‘sign of life’ in Gaza hostage video

  • Published
    13 hours ago

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Image source, Islamic Jihad video

The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group has posted videos of two Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

The group said it was prepared to release a 77-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy for humanitarian and medical reasons, but only if “appropriate measures” were met.

Israel described the videos as an important sign of life, but declined to say whether they would be released.

That would play into the captors’ “psychological terror”, it said.


In the video, the two hostages are seen addressing the camera.

The woman, Hanna Katsir, a woman in her 70s, is seen sitting in a wheelchair. She was abducted from kibbutz Nir Oz on 7 October, when Hamas attacked Israel.

The second is a teenage boy from the same community.

Both hostages sharply criticise Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. It is unclear whether they are reading from a script.

The BBC will not be broadcasting the clip itself, which is more than three minutes long. Prisoners of war and hostages are protected under international humanitarian law, and the BBC does not broadcast material which may have been filmed under duress.

Earlier, the Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, dismissed reports that a deal to free some of the hostages held in Gaza might be imminent.

The Israeli military says that 242 people are being held hostage in Gaza. Four hostages have been released and another was freed by Israeli forces.

Hamas says it has hidden the hostages it holds in “safe places and tunnels” within Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have previously said the hostages include 20 children and between 10 and 20 over-60s.

Mr Herzog said on Thursday he had not seen any substantial information on the subject of possible releases.

He spoke as the Qatari prime minister hosted a meeting in Doha with the heads of the CIA and Mossad, during which they reportedly discussed the possible terms of a deal for more hostages to be freed.

Meanwhile two senior Hamas officials, Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal, arrived in Cairo, where reports suggested they met the head of Egyptian intelligence Abbas Kamel.

Qatari and Egyptian networks have both said that the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is expected to visit Cairo tomorrow.

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