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Hamas announces deaths of seven hostages

Hamas’s armed wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, announced on their Telegram channel on Friday that seven hostages had been killed during Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

Hamas named three of the allegedly killed hostages as Chaim Gershon Peri, 79, Yoram Itak Metzger, 80 and Amiram Israel Cooper, 85. The terrorist group said a later announcement would contain the names of the remaining four.

All three men were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7.

The information provided by Hamas is unconfirmed, and Hamas has previously shared false information on the well-being of hostages as part of its use of psychological warfare.

Hamas’s latest statement on the seven hostages

  • “We have previously announced that our contact has been cut off with our mujahideen who are guarding a number of enemy prisoners in our honest sector,” Hamas announced on their Telegram, “and that we believe that a number of the prisoners have been killed as a result of the Zionist bombing.
  • “After examination and scrutiny during recent weeks, we have confirmed the martyrdom of a number of our mujahideen and the killing of seven enemy prisoners in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Zionist bombing.”
  • “We confirm that the number of enemy prisoners who were killed as a result of the military operations of the enemy army in the Gaza Strip may exceed seventy prisoners,” the statement claimed. “We have been keen all along to preserve the lives of the prisoners, but it has become clear that the enemy leadership is deliberately killing its prisoners to get rid of this file.
  • “At the same time, we affirm that the price we will take in exchange for five or ten living prisoners is the same price we would have taken in exchange for all the prisoners if the enemy’s bombing operations had not killed them.”

The last component of the statement is a reference to the current proposed ceasefire deal, which would begin on the Islamic holiday of Ramadan and see 10 security prisoners released per Israeli hostage.

Videos on the hostages

The three hostages announced dead by Hamas on Friday had all appeared in a video in December, where they pled for their release from captivity.

  • With his hair fashioned into an Islamic-style, Peri had said “You have to release us from here – it does not matter the cost.”
  • “We don’t want to be casualties as a direct result of the IDF military airstrikes,” he said.

Hamas had released a video teasing their announcement about the fate of a few of their hostages held in Gaza earlier in the day.

The video, which opened with a question mark, showed the images of three hostages whos identities have not yet been confirmed by the Jerusalem Post. Underneath the images read the test, “What do you think?

It then proposed three scenarios regarding the fates of the hostages. In the first, all had been killed, in the second some had been killed and others wounded, and in the third, all were still alive.

  • “Tonight we will inform you of their fate,” the video concluded.

In January, Hamas released a nearly identical video announcing the fates of Yossi Sharabi, Itai Svirsky, and Noa Argamani. The IDF later confirmed the deaths of Sharabi and Svirsky.

About the hostages

Peri had been at his home on Kibbutz Nir Oz with his wife on October 7, when Hamas invaded and murdered over 1200 people.

Peri had prevented his wife’s potential kidnapping or murder by giving himself up while she remained hidden, his son told Reuters.

Cooper and Metzger’s wives had been kidnapped on October 7 but later released as part of a temporary ceasefire deal.

 

Source: JPost