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Israel denounces Hamas propaganda video as psychological terror

The building where hostages Yossi Sharabi and Itai Svirsky were held was not attacked by Israel, IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said.

IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari briefs reporters in Tel Aviv, Oct. 16, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.
IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari briefs reporters in Tel Aviv, Oct. 16, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

Israeli officials denounced a Hamas propaganda video, which claimed that two hostages whom the terror group holds captive in the Gaza Strip were killed in an Israeli Air Force strike, on Monday night as psychological terror.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman, said during a press conference that Israel had not targeted nor attacked the building in which Yossi Sharabi, 53, and Itai Svirsky, 38, were held.

“This is a lie of Hamas,” Hagari insisted. “We do not attack a place where we know there may be hostages.”

Israeli jets attacked terror infrastructure near where Sharabi and Svirsky were held, leading Jerusalem to launch an investigation into Hamas’s claims about the two hostages’ fate, Hagari said.

The Israeli military contacted the families of the hostages and expressed concerns about their safety in Hamas captivity, per Hagari.

In footage that Hamas released on Monday evening, Israeli hostage Noa Argamani, 26, appears on camera. “I was located in a building. It was bombed by an IDF airstrike, an F-16 fighter jet,” she appears to say in the recording. “Three rockets were fired. Two of the rockets exploded, and the other didn’t.”

“I was injured in my head. My head is full of shrapnel and I have injuries to my body. Itai Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi died because of our own IDF airstrikes,” Argamani seems to add.

The video concludes with what appear to be two bodies that Hamas claims belong to the hostages.

JNS is not publishing the propaganda video.

On Sunday, Hamas released a “teaser” video showing Argamani, Sharabi and Svirsky apparently alive. “Tomorrow we will inform you of their fate,” it stated.

The video was the first sign of life from the three hostages since Oct. 7, some 100 days ago. It was not clear when that footage was captured. The two appear to introduce themselves and plead for the Israeli government to do everything possible to ensure their freedom.

Argamani was filmed being taken into Gaza after her abduction from the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im. “Don’t kill me! No, no, no,” she yells in the film, as she’s taken away on a motorcycle by Hamas terrorists, as terrorist gunmen push her boyfriend, Avi Nathan, around.

Hamas’s psychological warfare came on the 100th day of the war, which included a 24-hour rally in Tel Aviv organized by relatives of the hostages. Tens of thousands gathered with them at “Hostage Square” to demand their release.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated on Monday that only military pressure will secure the release of the hostages.

“If the fire stops, the fate of the hostages will be sealed for many years in the captivity of Hamas,” he said. “Without military pressure, no one will talk to us. Only from a position of strength can the hostages be freed.”

Gallant also announced an official end to heavy combat operations in northern Gaza. “The intensive maneuvering phase in the north of the Gaza Strip has ended, and in the south, it will also end soon,” the defense minister said.

Gallant’s statement came as the IDF’s largest regular-service armored division exited Gaza.

Soldiers of the 36th Armored Division, which includes the Golani Infantry Brigade and the 7th and 188th Armored Brigades, will be given a brief break from their service before they return for a period of training. The Israeli military will then decide whether and where to redeploy them.

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