The Hamas Group, responsible for the surprise attacks on Israel on October 7 by firing over “thousands of rockets”, has offered to release all hostages on a condition, as per reports. An NBC News report stated that a senior Hamas official told the news agency that the armed group was willing to release all civilian hostages immediately if Israel stopped bombarding the campaign of Gaza.
The report stated that the Hamas official was ready to free all hostages within an hour if the Israeli forces aborted their military offensives in the Gaza Strip.
The armed group’s condition to release civilian hostages came shortly after an air strike killed hundreds of people at a Gaza City hospital on Tuesday in the Hamas-run enclave. Israel’s military denied responsibility for an attack on a Gaza hospital on Tuesday, saying military intelligence suggested the hospital was hit by a failed rocket launch by the enclave’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad military group.
“Following an analysis by the IDF’s operational systems, a barrage of rockets was launched toward Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital, when it was hit,” Israel Defense Forces shared on X.
“According to intelligence information from a number of sources we have, the Islamic Jihad terrorist organisation is responsible for the failed rocket launch that hit the hospital,” IDF added.
The local authorities, as per reports, said that at least 300 people were killed in the Israeli strike on the hospital, while a Gaza Health Ministry official told news agency Reuters that at least 500 people were killed and injured.
A Palestinian official referred to this attack at the hospital as a “massacre” and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning following a deadly air strike on a hospital in Gaza, killing hundreds of people.
“What is taking place is genocide. We call on the international community to intervene immediately to stop this massacre. Silence is no longer acceptable,” a statement by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation read in response to Israel’s attack.
Hamas sparked the ongoing bloody battle with Israeli forces after the armed outfit launched a barrage of rockets towards southern Israel on October 7. Hamas launched a terror attack against Israel, which the group called ‘Operation Al Aqsa Flood Battle’.
Hours later, Israel retaliated to Hamas Group’s unprecedented attack, including ground infiltration into southern Israeli cities and gunning down citizens with ‘Operation Iron Swords’. The bloody fight between the two sides has so far claimed the lives of thousands of people.
In addition, Hamas fighters have reportedly captured several Israeli soldiers and civilians. As per statements by top Hamas officials on Tuesday, there are about 200-250 hostages held by the group, out of which are citizens of other countries, whom the Hamas official referred to as “guests” in a video message.
In the large-scale attack by Hamas on October 7, several disturbing videos have surfaced online purportedly show Israeli women being taken hostage by the group. These videos show the women covered in blood with their hands tied to their backs as Hamas militants push them inside cars.
The authenticity of the videos cannot be verified but the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, since the inception of the war with Hamas, has sought the release of the hostages with the utmost priority. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after his meeting with the Israeli PM Benjamin in Tel Aviv, iterated on the release of hostages by Hamas fighters at the earliest.
Hamas officials’ condition to release all civilian hostages comes days after Israel imposed a full blockade on Gaza, including the supply of life-essential materials such as water, fuel, electricity, and medical supplies. However, Blinken, after his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin on Tuesday, said that the US and Israel were “in talks” to facilitate medical aid and life kits for Gaza civilians. Also, on Monday, Israel agreed to resume water supply to Gaza.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)