Hamas suspected of taking over 100 Israelis hostage in Gaza

Israel-Gaza conflict: more than 100 Israeli hostages may have been taken by Hamas

The whereabouts and fate of Israeli hostages taken captive by Hamas during the recent conflict in Gaza have become one of the most pressing issues for Israeli military planners.
Amid shocking images of terrified Israeli soldiers and civilians being marched away by Hamas militants, the number of hostages is believed to be in the dozens, with some Israeli news outlets speculating that more than 100 have been taken.
Officials in the US and UK are urgently investigating claims that several Americans and one British citizen may have been captured.
According to reports, while most hostages were taken by Palestinian armed factions, some Palestinian civilians who also entered Israel may have taken captives too.
Among those reported as missing is Jake Marlowe – a British citizen who was attending a music festival in the south of Israel. His family has been unable to reach him since Hamas infiltrators attacked the event.
Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, a spokesperson for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), has said that some hostages are alive while others are presumed dead. This is in line with the practice of Gaza’s militant factions of taking human remains in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
The Israeli military has said that it will not hesitate to use force to free the hostages, but that it is also aware of the risks involved in any such operation.
The fate of the hostages remains uncertain, but their capture has added a further layer of complexity to the already tense situation in Gaza.

Israeli TV News Airs Accounts of Captive and Missing Israelis

Israeli TV news aired a stream of accounts from the relatives of captive or missing Israelis, who begged for assistance amid a fog of uncertainty surrounding the fate of their loved ones.
Among them was Ora Kuperstein, who was interviewed on Israeli Channel 12. She said her family was looking for her nephew, 21-year-old Bar, who was working at the rave that was attacked by Hamas and taken into Gaza.
"Nobody has told us anything. Nobody is helping us. It's chaos," she said. "His parents know nothing. He got there on Friday evening. From the videos we've seen, he was next to the guards, who were the first to get shot."
"He had no weapon, they took him with other young people."
Kuperstein's plea for help is just one of many that have been heard in recent days, as the families of captive and missing Israelis desperately search for information about their loved ones.
The Israeli military has said that it is doing everything possible to free the hostages, but the situation is complex and there is no easy solution.
The fate of the hostages remains uncertain, but their capture has added a further layer of complexity to the already tense situation in the Middle East.

Death and destruction in Israel and Gaza following surprise Hamas attack

Israel and Gaza are reeling from a surprise Hamas attack that has left dozens dead and caused widespread destruction.
The Israeli military has responded with heavy airstrikes, but Hamas has shown its ability to adapt its approach to Israeli tactics and survive previous rounds of fighting.
One factor that will color military planning for a land incursion into Gaza is the awareness that Hamas may be deliberately trying to draw Israeli forces into built-up urban areas.
In particular, the Israeli military will be mindful of its experiences during the 2014 Gaza war, when 13 soldiers were killed in one night of heavy urban fighting.
While Israeli forces have a significant advantage in air power and artillery, Hamas has always managed to emerge after the end of periods of conflict able to begin rearming almost immediately.
In part, this is due to the geography of the Gaza Strip, with its dense and maze-like urban landscape.
Over the years of fighting, Hamas has also shown its ability to adapt its approach to Israeli tactics, applying lessons from elsewhere, such as those learned from Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, Saleh al-Arouri, has warned that Hamas is prepared for all options, including all-out war.
The situation in Israel and Gaza is complex and there is no easy solution. However, it is clear that Hamas is a resilient and adaptable adversary, and that any Israeli military operation will need to be carefully planned and executed.

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