Hamas leader says he doesn't know many hostages still alive; Israel reacts
In an interview, when asked how many hostages were still alive, Ghazi Hamad, replied, “I don't know. The number is not so important.”
A senior Hamas leader claimed he did not know how many hostages were still alive in Gaza, nor was it important, prompting a sharp reaction from the Israeli government.
In an interview with CBS news on Thursday, when asked how many hostages were still alive, Ghazi Hamad, replied, “I don't know. The number is not so important.” The interview came a day before the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ended, as the Palestine's terrorist group refused to release the hostages it had committed to and instead began launching rockets toward southern Israel early Friday morning.
Reacting to Hamad's comments, Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy said, "Hamas says it doesn’t know how many hostages are still alive and ‘the number is not important’. Israelis value life. Hamas worships death.
Hamad additionally told CBS that Hamas had kidnapped 10-month-old Kfir Bibas and his four-year-old brother Ariel to force them to “impose pressure on their government, to tell them that you pushed us to hell”.
In another social media post, Levy on Friday claimed that Hamas restarted the war holding 137 hostages in Gaza. “▪️117 male, 20 female ▪️126 Israelis, 11 foreign ▪️2 children (Bibas infants) ▪️10 aged 75+ To date, Israeli military pressure has secured the release of 110 hostages and recovered the bodies of two murdered hostages,” he wrote.
Over the course of the past week, Hamas released 80 Israeli women, children and teenagers as part of a truce agreement in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
Hamas also freed 25 others outside the scope of the truce deal, most of them Thai farm workers, bringing to 105 the number of captives released during the pause in hostilities.
With five hostages having already been freed before the truce, a total of 110 captives have returned home alive – 33 children, 49 women and 28 men – out of an initial group of around 240.
The Israeli Army said on Friday five more hostages had died, bringing the total number to seven, and 136 were still being held.
The government said 125 Israelis, eight Thais, one Nepali, one Tanzanian and a French-Mexican identified as Orion Hernandez-Radoux, 32, by his family.