IDF Brig. Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch, tapped by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as coordinator for the captives and the missing in the aftermath of Hamas’s Oct. 7 mass terror attack, spoke with his U.S. counterpart on Wednesday night, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Last night I spoke with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, and today I will meet with his deputy, Steven Gillen, who is coming to Israel specially,” said Hirsch.
“The warm ties, the heartfelt concern and the American commitment to assist in every way possible are very important to us,” he added.
On Saturday morning, Hamas terrorists infiltrated several Israeli communities, killing at least 1,300 people. Some 3,000 people were wounded in shooting and rocket attacks over the weekend, and the toll continues to climb.
More than 100 Israelis are being held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to reports, with the IDF saying it has so far notified the families of 97 hostages.
“The searches in the field are continuing and the difficult work of identifying the bodies continues,” Hirsch noted on Thursday.
“Many of those who were injured are being treated in hospital and we are investigating every piece of information that could assist us in locating the missing,” he said, adding that “many Israelis are contacting us with offers to help and volunteer.”
“My staff and I are working around the clock for the missing, the captives and their families. Together, we will overcome and we will win,” the prime minister’s envoy concluded.
Earlier this week, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip as the Israel Defense Forces prepared for a major offensive in response to Hamas’s surprise attack.
The siege will continue until every Israeli kidnapped by Hamas is freed, Israeli Energy and Infrastructure Minister Israel Katz announced on Thursday.
“Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home,” tweeted Katz.