New video shows Hamas fighters taking Israeli soldiers hostage

The families of several female Israeli soldiers taken hostage during the Hamas-led attack on October 7 released a video of their abduction in an attempt to pressure the Israeli government to revive apparently stalled ceasefire talks that could pave the way for the liberation of the captives. .

Relatives first saw the images a few weeks ago through the Israeli military, which formally gave them a copy on Tuesday night, according to the Hostage and Missing Families Forum, which represents families of hostages held captive in Gaza.

“I ask you to show this clip every day and open your broadcasts with it,” Eli Albag, whose daughter Liri Albag appears in the video, said in a television interview with Israel’s Channel 12. “Until someone wakes up, the nation wakes up and realizes that they have been abandoned there for 229 days.”

Some Israeli politicians immediately seized on the images to try to reject the decision by Ireland, Norway and Spain to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state. Israel Katz, the Foreign Minister, said he would screen the images during a “severe reprimand” to the countries’ ambassadors.

In the collection of edited three-minute videos, which were verified by The New York Times, Palestinian fighters, some wearing Hamas headbands, can be seen tying the hands of five Israeli women who were serving as lookouts in Nahal Oz, a military base near the Gaza border. At least two of the hostages have bloody faces and appear to be in pajamas. The militants repeatedly threaten the women.

One of the militants calls the women “dogs” and promises to crush them. One of the women can be heard telling the militants that she had “a friend in Palestine,” while another begs to know if any of them speak English.

In a statement, Hamas said the scenes presented in the edited video “could not be confirmed.” The group also claimed that a translation provided by Israeli authorities was incorrect and included phrases “that were not said by any of the fighters who appeared in the video.”

Talks to secure the release of the more than 125 hostages still held in Gaza, some of them, have been stalled since Israel began its assault on the southern city of Rafah in early May. Israeli forces operating in northern Gaza recovered the bodies of four kidnapped Israelis on October 7, raising fears for the remaining captives.

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum identified the Israeli soldiers held hostage in the video as Naama Levy, Agam Berger, Liri Albag, Karina Ariev and Daniela Gilboa, all aged 19 or 20. The images were recorded with body cameras worn by the Hamas militants they kidnapped. them, the organization said.

The hostages’ families met with senior Israeli leaders on Wednesday, including Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, and Benny Gantz, a member of the country’s war cabinet, in an attempt to push for an immediate deal with Hamas.

“The video is a damning testament to the nation’s failure to bring home the hostages, who have been abandoned for 229 days,” the Hostages and Missing Families Forum said in a statement.

In a statement on social media, Gantz said he was shocked by the images of the kidnapping of the five hostages and vowed to make “difficult decisions” if necessary to bring home the remaining captives in Gaza.

Yair Lapid, leader of Israel’s parliamentary opposition, said the video was “a reminder to the world of the evil we are fighting in Gaza.”

Dmitriy Khavin, Alejandro Cardía and Riley Melencontributed with reports.

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