Hamas claims it has captured dozens of Israelis, including soldiers, and videos authenticated by CNN show some of the dramatic seizures. Israel is taking pains to establish the exact number of hostages that have been taken into Gaza, an isolated coastal enclave of almost 2 million people crammed into 140 square miles, one of the most densely populated places in the world.
According to The Guardian, “More than 100 Israeli hostages, including women and children, may have been taken into Gaza by Hamas, hugely complicating any Israeli military operation to free them.
Amid shocking images of terrified Israeli soldiers and civilians – some bloodied, others hooded and with their hands tied – being marched away by Hamas militants, the whereabouts and fate of the captives has become one of the most pressing issues for military planners.”
Among those reported as missing is Jake Marlowe – a British citizen who was attending a music festival in the south of Israel. His family have been unable to reach him since Hamas infiltrators attacked the event.
Spokesperson for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said some hostages were alive while others were presumed dead, in line with the practice of Gaza’s militant factions of taking human remains to exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
According to CNN’s reporting, “Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the military’s international spokesperson, told CNN on Sunday that “dozens” had been captured and emphasized just how complex the situation was as the army launched air strikes on Gaza in retaliation. In an earlier briefing he had said “civilians, children and grandmothers” were among those being held captive.
Hamas claims it has captured dozens of Israelis, including soldiers, and videos authenticated by CNN show some of the dramatic seizures.
Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has warned attacks in the area could impact hostages, with its spokesman, Abu Obaida, saying in a recorded audio message Saturday that they were “present in all axes in the Gaza Strip.”