Friday, December 8, 2023

Captives’ release obstructed by Israel’s attacks: Hamas

Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas has announced it is “ready to release” 12 captives taken into Gaza but “the situation on the ground” – Israeli air and land invasion – “is what hinders this from being completed”

A post on Qassam Brigades’ Telegram channel said it is ready to release “12 detainees in Gaza who hold foreign nationalities, but the occupation obstructed that”.

In late October, Hamas announced that it will release some foreign hostages from the Gaza Strip in the coming days, without offering more specifics.

More than 240 people, including Israeli soldiers and civilians, as well as foreigners from numerous countries, were taken captive by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups during a deadly assault on Israel on October 7 that Israeli authorities say killed more than 1,500 people.

Five hostages have been released thus far, most of them following negotiations through diplomatic channels with assistance from countries including Qatar and Egypt, and one after a ground incursion by Israeli soldiers inside Gaza.

The Palestinian group Hamas has announced it is ready to conclude a deal on swapping prisoners with the Israeli side.

Hamas Spokesman Hazem Kasem has recently told Al Jazeera the movement is ready to release all the prisoners held by it in exchange to all those held by Israel.

There are 19 prisons within Israel and one inside the occupied West Bank that hold thousands of Palestinian prisoners.

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