Hamas says will not negotiate on hostages under Israeli bombardment

The Palestinian movement of Hamas will not negotiate on the issue of hostages while under Israeli fire, Abu Obaida, the spokesperson for the movement’s military wing al-Qassam Brigades, said in a video statement.

“It has become clear that the enemy’s hostages are at risk to the same extent as our people in light of the aggression against the Gaza Strip,” Abu Obaida stated, adding, “We affirm that we will not deliberate or negotiate on the issue of hostages under fire, in light of aggression, or in light of battle.”

Abu Obaida noted that al-Qassam Brigades are holding a very large number of hostages in detention sites — and that some had been killed.

The spokesman went on to say the Hamas military operation was launched after years of planning and preparations.

“[Al-Aqsa flood] came after the Zionist tyranny reached its peak in the desecration of the blessed Al-Aqsa and the aggression against it and against our people everywhere,” Abu Obaida stressed.

Israel killed hundreds and injured thousands of Palestinians over the past two years, yet still has a seat at the United Nations and receives weapons from the United States to kill children and destroy houses, he added.

The Hamas movement has also threatened to kill an Israeli hostage every time Israel bombs a Palestinian home without warning.

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson said Tuesday killing hostages “will not make things better”.

Israeli authorities believe women and children are among up to 150 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, following the devastating attack on Israel. Hamas has claimed it is holding more than 100 captives, including high-ranking Israeli army officers.

“If they harm one of these grandmothers or one of these babies or one of these children, it will not make things better and they know it,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht stated.

It comes as the death toll from the armed group’s surprise attack climbed to 900 in Israel and air raids by Israel on the besieged Gaza Strip killed more than 700 people and left over 3,700 wounded.

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