OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:07 PM – Monday, October 16, 2023
The Israeli military says that 199 families have already been informed that their loved ones have been kidnapped during Hamas’ terror attacks on Israel on October 7th. The hostages are currently being held captive in the Gaza Strip.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesperson, said on Monday that the military knew minor details regarding the whereabouts of hostages being held in Gaza.
“We are making valiant efforts to try to understand where the hostages are in Gaza, and we have such information,” Hagari said at a press conference. “We will not carry out an attack that would endanger our people,” he continued.
Israelis and foreigners, including Americans, newborns, children, those with special needs, and elderly people with ongoing medical conditions were all hauled into Gaza.
The bulk of them are being detained by Hamas, however, Palestinian Islamic Jihad also claims to be holding at least 30 hostages as well, making efforts to secure their release much more difficult.
It has not been reported yet how many hostages have been killed.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a meeting with representatives and family members of some of the hostages, vowing to do everything in his power to return them home as soon as possible.
“Netanyahu told the families that one of the goals of the war is the return of the captive and missing,” a statement from one of the families read.
Following President Joe Biden’s 90-minute chat on Friday with relatives of Americans missing, Netanyahu has faced some criticism for not meeting with the families sooner.
The issue has been at the top of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s agenda as he claims to be conducting shuttle diplomacy across the region.
Israel has largely refrained from commenting on the hostages and efforts to secure their release, indicating that its primary and immediate focus is eradicating Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules over Gaza and the Palestinian people.
According to a source with knowledge of the discussions, some members of Hamas are aware that holding women, children, and senior citizens hostage has given Israel more worldwide support for escalating its military operation against them.
On Saturday, hundreds of Israelis participated in a vigil organized by a man whose wife and three children are currently being held captive by terrorists in Gaza outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv.
A few hours later, Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of the National Security Council, declared that Israel was not actively negotiating the release of the captives and that “there is no way right now to have a negotiation” with the group.
“Israel will not hold negotiations with an enemy that we have vowed to wipe from the face of the earth,” he said, telling reporters at the IDF’s Tel Aviv HQ.
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