Sunday, December 3, 2023

It’s too early to exchange Israeli hostages: Senior Hamas official

Izzat al-Risheq, a senior official of the Palestinian resistance group of Hamas, has stated that it's too early to exchange Israeli hostages while the Zionist regime continues to strike Gaza.

“We will only discuss this issue when the Israeli aggression against our people ends,” al-Risheq told CNN Wednesday.

He also denied Hamas had any help from Iran or Lebanon’s Hezbollah in executing or planning Hamas’ large-scale surprise military operation on Israel.

“I say it very clearly that this operation was a 100 percent Hamas operation without any help from any regional party,” al-Risheq said.

“Hamas fighters are holding as many as 150 people hostage in locations across Gaza following their raids on southern Israel on Saturday,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations confirmed Monday.

Abu Obaida, the spokesperson of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, announced Monday that Hamas would start executing civilian hostages if Israel targeted people in Gaza without warning.

Hamas also denied that its militants beheaded children and assaulted women when it launched a large-scale surprise military operation against Israel last Saturday that left at least 1,200 people dead.

Al-Risheq said in a statement Wednesday that reports “spread lies about our Palestinian people and the resistance claiming that members of the Palestinian resistance beheaded children and attacked women with no evidence to support such claims and lies”.

“We strongly condemn the fabricated and baseless allegations promoted by the occupation in an attempt to cover up for the massacres, crimes and genocide committed in Gaza,” al-Risheq added.

Tal Heinrich, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed earlier on Wednesday that babies and toddlers were found with their “heads decapitated” in Kfar Aza in southern Israel after Hamas’ attacks in the kibbutz over the weekend.

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