Palestine fighters: 'Zionist bombing' in Gaza kills seven Israeli hostages

This picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Younis in southern Gaza during Israeli bombardment. (Photo/AFP)

Seven Israeli hostages were killed in air strikes on besieged Gaza, bringing the death toll of hostages from Israeli strikes and shelling to 70, Al Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, has said.

"We previously announced that our contact had been lost with our fighters who were guarding a number of enemy hostages in our faithful strip, and we suspected that some hostages have been killed as a result of the Israeli air strikes," said Al Qassam spokesperson Abu Ubaida in a statement on Friday.

He said "after examination and verification over the past few weeks, it has been confirmed to us that a number of our fighters have been martyred, and seven of the enemy hostages in the strip have been killed as a result of Zionist bombing."

The statement published the names of three hostages in both Arabic and Hebrew, including "Hayim Gershon Perry, Yoram Etaq Mitzger, and Amiram Israel Kuper."

He pointed out that "Al Qassam Brigades will later announce the names of the other four dead after confirming their identities."

Ubaida said that "the number of enemy hostages killed as a result of the enemy army's military operations in the Gaza Strip may exceed seventy prisoners," noting that they have always sought to preserve the lives of the hostages, "but it has become clear that the enemy's leadership deliberately kills its hostages to get rid of this issue."

The Al Qassam Brigades posted on their account on X a picture of one of the Israelis killed and commented that "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left his friends to face their fate alone without rescuing them."

At the end of 2023, the Al Qassam Brigades announced that they suspected five Israeli hostages were killed due to the ongoing Israeli raids on besieged Gaza, after announcing the loss of contact with the group responsible for them.

This is not the first time that Al Qassam has announced the loss of contact with groups responsible for prisoners in Gaza.

On November 18, 2023 the brigades announced that they lost contact with a group responsible for protecting Israeli hostages, and the fate of hostages and their captors is unknown.

Israel's genocidal war

Doha, alongside Cairo and Washington, is overseeing negotiations to reach a prisoner exchange deal and a ceasefire in besieged Gaza between Tel Aviv and Palestinian resistance groups, with sources suggesting that this could happen before the upcoming Ramadan expected on March 11.

Israel's war on Gaza — now in its 148th day — has left at least 30,228 Palestinians dead, mostly children and women, and wounded 71,377 others, as famine looms in the coastal enclave of 2.3 million besieged people.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the tiny Palestinian-blockaded enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

Gaza officials say 10 children have died of "malnutrition and dehydration", adding some people have resorted to eating animal feed and even cactuses to survive.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 percent of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60 percent of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.


Source: TRT