News about the Israel-Hamas and Gaza War: Latest updates

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The families of several female Israeli soldiers taken hostage in an attack led by Hamas on October 7 released a video recording their kidnapping to put pressure on the Israeli government to revive them. stalled Ceasefire negotiations could pave the way for the release of those captured.

According to the Forum of Hostages and Missing Families, which represents the families of hostages held in Gaza, family members first saw the footage several weeks ago through the Israeli military. The army officially gave them a copy on Tuesday night.

“I ask you, please show this clip every day, open your broadcasts with it,” said Eli Albag, whose daughter Liri Albag can be seen in the videosaid in a television interview with Israel’s Channel 12. “Until someone woke up, the country woke up and realized they had been abandoned there for 229 days.”

On Thursday, a day after the video was released, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that Israel’s war cabinet had ordered its negotiators “to continue negotiations to bring Hostages” held in Gaza return home. However, according to the United Nations, hopes for immediate progress seem remote in the shadow of Israel’s ongoing military operation in Rafah, southern Gaza, where more than 800,000 Palestinians have fled.

Some Israeli politicians immediately seized on Wednesday’s video to try to rebut the decisions of Ireland, Norway and Spain to Unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state. Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he would show this video during a “stern reprimand” of the countries’ ambassadors.

A still image from video released by the Israeli military shows Israeli soldiers, all young women, during their abduction amid a Hamas-led attack on October 7.Credit…Hostage Families Forum, via Reuters

In a three-minute edited video collection, verified by the New York Times, Palestinian militants, some wearing Hamas headbands, can be seen tying the hands of five Israeli women on guard duty. at Nahal Oz, a military base near a Hamas military base. Gaza border. At least two of the hostages had bloody faces and they appeared to be wearing pajamas. Militants constantly threaten women.

One of the warriors called the women “dogs” and vowed to crush them. One of the women could be heard telling the militants that she had “a friend in Palestine,” even as another begged to know whether any of them spoke English.

In a statement, Hamas said that scenes in the edited video “cannot be confirmed.” The group also claims that the translation provided by Israeli authorities is inaccurate and includes phrases “not said by any of the fighters appearing in the video.”

Negotiations aimed at securing the release of more than 125 hostages still being held in Gaza have been deadlocked since Israel began attacking the southern city of Rafah in early May. Israeli forces operate in northern Gaza recovered the bodies of four Israeli kidnappers on October 7, adding to concerns for the remaining captives.

The Hostage and Missing Families Forum identified the Israeli hostage soldiers in the video as Naama Levy, Agam Berger, Liri Albag, Karina Ariev and Daniela Gilboa, all aged 19 or 20. The footage was recorded by body cameras of kidnapped Hamas militants. this organization said.

The families of the hostages met with senior Israeli leaders on Wednesday, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz, a member of the country’s war cabinet, in a lobbying effort to achieve an immediate agreement with Hamas.

The Hostage and Missing Families Forum said in a statement: “The video is a clear demonstration of the nation’s failure to bring home the hostages, who have been abandoned for 229 days ”.

In a statement on social media, Mr. Gantz said he was appalled by footage of the kidnapping of five hostages and vowed to make “difficult decisions” if necessary to get the remaining captives in Gaza. go home.

Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition in Israel’s parliament, said the video was “a reminder to the world of the evil we are fighting in Gaza.”

Dmitry Khavin, Alexander Cardia And Riley Mellen Report contributions.

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