A statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said the women were abducted from their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7.
As for Hamas, a spokesman for the group announced on October 23 that they had released the two hostages for humanitarian reasons and in response to mediation by Qatar and Egypt. Hamas said these were two hostages whom the group had announced their release a few days earlier but Israel refused to accept them. Israel has denied this.
Both hostages have been handed over to the Israeli military and will be taken to a medical facility. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced that it has created favorable conditions for the removal of the two Israeli hostages mentioned above from the Gaza Strip.
Two female hostages were released by Hamas in a video released on 23 October. Photo: Reuters
This development comes after Hamas released two American hostages (Ms. Judith Tai Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter Natalie Raanan) last week.
A Hamas spokesman at the time said that the two American hostages were released “for humanitarian reasons” and “to show the American people and the world” that the US government’s claims were “false” and baseless.
The US priority now is to spend time on negotiations to free the other hostages, especially after the unexpected release of Judith and Natalie Rainon. Asked about the possibility of a ceasefire, US President Joe Biden said, “The hostages must be released and then we can talk.”
Israeli tanks are preparing a scenario for landing in the Gaza Strip on October 23. Photo: EPA-EFE
radio cnn Israel was reported to have recently expanded its attack on Hamas by attacking the Lebanese group Hezbollah and targeting the West Bank.
According to the reporter cnn On the ground in southern Israel, the attacks on October 22 were one of the longest bombings in northern Gaza in the past two weeks.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant announced on 23 October that Israel was preparing for a “multilateral campaign” targeting Hamas from “air, land and sea”. After visiting the Ashdod naval base, Mr. Gallant released a video instructing Israeli troops to “stay prepared.”
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that on 23 October airstrikes destroyed 320 Hamas and Jihad group targets in Gaza.
Israel said the attacks by armed forces overnight were aimed partly at gathering intelligence, determining the whereabouts of the hostages, and helping improve the country’s military preparedness. IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari assessed these as “intense raids”.
The death toll in Gaza rose rapidly as Israel stepped up airstrikes to level buildings in preparation for a final ground assault.
According to Hamas’s health agency, hundreds of people were killed in the Gaza Strip after a series of airstrikes on the morning of 23 October.
A small number of aid trucks have been allowed to travel from Egypt to Gaza since last weekend, but aid agencies have warned that the current transport pace will not meet the needs of the 2 million people living in the region.