Hamas orders to shoot hostages if Israeli army advances: report

While Israel has managed to rescue seven hostages, several others have been killed.

New Delhi:

In Gaza, Hamas leaders have instructed their operatives to kill hostages if they believe Israeli forces are advancing, further escalating an already volatile situation. According to one The New York Times reports Hamas operatives held hostage in Gaza have been ordered to shoot the captives if they sense any approach from Israeli forces, according to Israeli officials.

The development follows the recent recovery of four hostages by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) from Nasirat, central Gaza. Israeli officials have denied Hamas claims that the three hostages were killed in Israeli airstrikes, rather than by their captors.

Since October 7, when Hamas militants took more than 200 hostages following a ground-sea airstrike on Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has been trying to find and rescue those people. A “fusion cell” of American and Israeli intelligence and military analysts has been working tirelessly to monitor the hostages’ movements, using drones, satellites and communications intercepts, the NYT reports.

While Israel has managed to rescue seven hostages, many have been killed either during the conflict or by their captors.

“One must remember that the release of the four hostages is ultimately a tactical success that does not change the strategic aspect. Hamas still holds dozens of hostages, most, if not all, of them in the operation. will not be released, but it is possible that they will only be rescued as part of a cease-fire agreement,” said Avi Kalu, a lieutenant colonel in the Israeli reserves, as quoted by the NYT.

Efforts are further complicated by the fact that hostages are now being hidden in more secure locations, including underground tunnels, making underground rescues increasingly rare. Experts have said that the only possible solution for most hostage situations is through diplomatic negotiations and possible cease-fire agreements.

United Nations Armistice Resolution

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Monday approved a US-drafted resolution supporting a ceasefire plan in Gaza. With 14 votes in favor and Russia abstaining, the resolution “welcomes” the cease-fire and hostage release proposal presented by US President Joe Biden on May 31. The resolution states that Israel has agreed to the ceasefire plan and called on Hamas to do the same.

Hamas responded by saying it welcomed the UN Security Council vote. Yet the path to peace is fraught with challenges. Hamas officials have demanded that any cease-fire deal must guarantee a permanent end to the conflict, a condition Israel has categorically rejected, vowing to eliminate Hamas and free all hostages. while maintaining

However, the future of the ceasefire is uncertain. The proposed plan includes an initial six-week ceasefire, during which Israel would withdraw from population centers in Gaza, and Hamas would release hostages. The aim of the talks is to extend the ceasefire and find a permanent solution to the hostilities.

After the vote, Israeli diplomat Reut Shapir Ben Naftaly reiterated that the conflict would only end if Israel’s goals were met, including the full release of hostages and the elimination of Hamas. He said that Hamas’s refusal to release the hostages through diplomacy has proved that military means must be involved in the effort to bring our hostages home.

The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, expressed relief at the council’s decision and placed the responsibility of implementing the ceasefire on Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hailed the resolution as a positive step toward ending the “war of genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza.

The conflict, which began with a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, has resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. The initial attack killed 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to AFP figures based on Israeli official figures. Israel’s counterattacks have resulted in at least 37,124 deaths in Gaza, most of them civilians, according to a report by the territory’s health ministry.

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