Hamas says Israel refused to receive the two hostages; Israel calls it propaganda News of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Hamas arrested about 210 people during its bloody attack on southern Israel on October 7, and they are being held in unknown locations inside Gaza.

Hamas says it offered to release two Israelis it arrested during its deadly raid, but the Israeli government refused to receive them. Israel described this claim as “false propaganda.”

Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said that the Qatari mediator informed the movement of the movement’s intentions to release the Israelis on Friday, the same day that Americans Judith Tay Ranan and her daughter Natalie were released.

“We informed our Qatari brothers yesterday evening that we would release Nurit Yitzhak and Yochevid Lifshitz for humanitarian reasons and without expecting anything in return. Obaida said via the Telegram application on Saturday that the Israeli occupation government refused to receive them.

Hamas arrested about 210 people during its bloody attack on southern Israel on October 7, and they are being held in unknown locations inside Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a brief statement: “We will not point out the false propaganda carried out by Hamas. We will continue to work in every way to return all kidnapped and missing persons to their homes.”

Qatar, which helped mediate the release of the prisoners, had no immediate comment.

In a later statement, Obaida said that Hamas was still prepared to release the two individuals on Sunday “using the same procedures” used to release the Americans.

“He refused to take them”

Hamas spokesman Khaled al-Qaddoumi told Al Jazeera that the Israeli government “is not serious” about releasing the prisoners.

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He added: “We offered to hand over these prisoners who are in a serious humanitarian condition for humanitarian reasons only. We wanted to hand them over to their families, but the government is not serious. Unfortunately, the Israeli government refused to receive them.”

Al-Qaddoumi said that Israel did not provide any reason for not accepting the offer.

Among those detained by Hamas are women, children, the elderly, people from other countries – who have been working for their release – and Israeli soldiers.

Akiva Eldar, an Israeli political analyst, writer and journalist, said that if Hamas wanted to release the hostages, it could hand them over to groups like the International Committee of the Red Cross, or allow them to cross into Egypt.

“If it’s not part of a quid pro quo or something that Israel has to offer in return, it’s very simple – just like they allowed American citizens to cross the border with the help of the Red Cross,” he noted.

The hostages will be released “very soon.”

A spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry said that the release of the American hostages on Friday came after “many days of continuous communication with all parties.”

Majid Al-Ansari, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that Qatar hopes to release all the prisoners soon.

“I cannot promise that this will happen today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. But we are on a path that will very soon lead to the release of hostages, especially civilians,” Al-Ansari said.

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He added: “We are currently working to reach an agreement under which all civilian hostages will be released initially.”

Hamas’ multi-pronged attack on Israel, dubbed “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians, and wounded about 3,500 others on 7 October.

Israel responded with intense air attacks on Gaza, leveling densely populated neighborhoods to the ground and imposing a complete siege on the Strip. Nearly 4,400 people were killed in Gaza and 13,500 wounded during two weeks of fighting.

As its forces mobilized on the fence separating Gaza, Israel threatened to launch a ground invasion to “destroy Hamas.”

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