Efforts continue on several fronts to get the hostages released. Troops are working to get the captives back “immediately” and with “no conditions,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog stated Sunday.
“We are trying our best, of course, to identify their exact fate through various sources, and we are demanding from the international community unequivocal condemnation, and demand for the release of the hostages,” Herzog said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
He added it is a “complicated situation” because Hamas does not “obey any rules of international humanitarian law in any way or format. For years already, they’ve been holding Israeli soldiers, bodies, citizens from previous rounds, not even telling any information about their fate, whereabouts and how they’re feeling.”
He said there is “a big international effort” to bring the hostages back, and thanked the US in particular for its support.
The Israeli president added some of the hostages need special medications and treatment, calling the situation regarding their health “extremely fragile.”
A senior Hamas leader had said that the group had captured enough Israeli soldiers during an unprecedented attack against Israel to make Israeli authorities free all Palestinian prisoners in its jails.
“We managed to kill and capture many Israeli soldiers. The fighting is still on,” Saleh al-Arouri, deputy chief of Hamas’s political bureau, told Al Jazeera last Saturday.
“Our detainees in [Israeli] prisons, their freedom is looming large. What we have in our hands will release all our prisoners. The longer fighting continues, the higher the number of prisoners will become,” added al-Arouri, who said senior officers were among those captured, but did not provide any figures.