The Hamas terrorist group may release 50 hostages with dual citizenship it holds in the Gaza Strip, “separate from any broader deal,” The New York Times reported on Monday, citing an Israeli military source.
Qatar and the United States are negotiating the release of abductees with dual nationality separately from those who have only Israeli citizenship, the report claimed.
Israeli senior officials have previously said that Israel is not involved in any kind of negotiations related to the release of the Israeli captives.
Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on Monday that the military has so far confirmed that terrorists kidnapped 222 persons during Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, in which 1,400 people were massacred in Israel and more than 4,500 were wounded.
On Friday, Hamas freed two hostages for what it called “humanitarian reasons.”
“Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter, Natalie Shoshana Raanan, were released by the terrorist organization Hamas,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office confirmed. The pair were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nahal Oz during the Oct. 7 invasion of the western Negev.
Also last week, Hamas released a video showing another Israeli abductee.
“I’m Mia Shem, 21 years old from Shoham. Currently, I’m in Gaza. I returned early Saturday morning from Sderot—I was at a party. I was seriously injured in my hand,” the woman says in the clip. She calls on Israel to “get me out of here as soon as possible.”
Shem, a dual French-Israeli national, was kidnapped while attending a music festival in the desert near Kibbutz Re’im, where Hamas gunmen murdered at least 260 festival-goers.
Among the kidnapped are some 20 to 30 children and 10 to 20 people over the age of 60. The hostages include citizens of eight or nine countries in addition to Israel.