In a spectacular operation carried out on Friday in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army tried to rescue several hostages. It is the first time such an action has been reported during the war. Military spokesman Daniel Hagari acknowledged that they had failed in the attempt. He also reported that two Israeli soldiers were seriously wounded and that those responsible for holding the hostages are dead. There are currently 138 hostages in the Palestinian enclave, of whom at least 15 have died.
Hamas' version of the same operation, which took place at 2:30 a.m., is different. Among the hostages was one of the soldiers kidnapped during the Hamas attack on October 7, in which 1,200 people were killed and another 240 were forcibly taken to the Gaza Strip. The prisoner is 24-year-old Saar Baruch, who was killed, according to a video provided by the Islamist movement. They also denounce that the Israeli military came to rescue their comrade camouflaged in an ambulance and posing as a humanitarian organization, which they denounce as a "flagrant violation of international law".
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Baruch first appears in front of the camera presenting himself on the 40th day of captivity and then his corpse is seen, apparently wearing the same T-shirt as that day. Hamas also offers its alleged national ID number as evidence. In between, video footage shows large traces of blood in what appears to be the house where he was kept. The weapons and equipment of the Israeli soldiers that would have been left in the hands of the militants also appear.
Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of breaking the laws of war by using ambulances in the fighting. That is precisely the accusation that the fundamentalist movement is now levelling at the Israeli side. Before publishing the video, they had reported their version of what happened through a statement on social networks.
So far, Israel has only managed to bring back one of the soldiers captured on October 7. She is 19-year-old soldier Ori Magidish, it was reported on October 30. Magidish was serving at the Nahl Oz base near Gaza, where 19-year-old Spanish-Israeli Maya Villalobo, who was killed in the Hamas attack, was also doing her military service, although her death was not confirmed until October 11.
Earlier that month, four women had been released earlier, but at the initiative of their captors. First, on Oct. 20, 17-year-old Natalie Raanan and her mother, Judith, 59. On 23 October, 85-year-old Yocheved Lifschitz and 79-year-old Nourit Kuper were released. The first of these caused a stir after she told the media at a hospital that she had been "treated well" in Gaza. The appearance ended up costing the employee of the center who organized it his job.
Subsequently, a total of 105 more hostages were released during the week-long truce. Seven exchanges of abductees in Gaza were carried out for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Those swaps ended with the end of the ceasefire at dawn on 1 December. As of Friday's death announced by Hamas, 138 hostages remained in Gaza, of whom 15 have already been confirmed dead.
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