CAIRO: Hamas has said it has lost contact with a group responsible for around 5 Israeli captives being held in the Gaza Strip due to Israeli brutal bombardment, western media reported on Saturday.
Hamas believes the captives were killed during an Israeli attack, Abu Ubaida, the spokesperson for the Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades, was quoted as saying in a statement on the social media channel.
Hamas said earlier that around 60 captives were missing due to Israeli attacks. There has been no confirmation of that number but Israel thinks that 20 or some 130 captives still held in the Gaza Strip are dead.
Hamas Says Lost Contact with People Responsible for Several Israeli Captives
Hamas released over 100 captives as part of a week-long truce deal at the end of November that included the release of 240 Palestinian woman and children from Israeli prisons. Families of the captives held a new protest on Saturday, demanding that Israel must consider releasing senior Palestinian leaders from prison in any new swap agreement.
On the other hand, the Israeli army on Saturday admitted that its five soldiers have been killed in war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip since Friday. In a statement, the Israeli army also acknowledged that four military personnel were killed on Friday in the Strip. It maintained that a fifth soldier was killed on Saturday in Gaza, bringing to 144 the number of soldiers killed inside in the Strip since the start of Israel’s brutal ground offensive against the people of Palestine on October 27. The military statement added that around 44 soldiers were wounded in the past 24 hours, ten of whom are in serious condition.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian health ministry said that the death toll in Gaza has reached at least 20,258 people, mostly women and children, due to ongoing relentless Israeli attacks since October 7. The statement added that in the past 24 hours alone, 201 Palestinians have been killed, and 368 others injured in the Gaza Strip.
The health ministry expressed deep concern over the continuous Israeli offensive, saying that the total number of Palestinians killed in the besieged Gaza Strip has now reached 20,258, with an additional 53,688 individuals injured since October 7.