Hamas says it has seized ‘dozens’ of hostages from Israel as video appears to show civilians taken to Gaza

Hamas says it has captured “dozens” of hostages as part of the Palestinian militant organisation’s suprise attack on Israel on Saturday.

“We bring good news to our (Palestinian) prisoners and our people that the al Qassam Brigades have dozens of captured (Israeli) officers and soldiers in their hands,” Abu Obaida, a spokesperson for Hamas’s armed wing, said in a post on Telegram, CNN reports.

“They have been secured in safe places and resistance tunnels,” the spokesperson added.

Militant groups claimed on social media fighters in Israeli were holding some hostages and other captives were being driven into Gaza, Reuters reports.

The Israeli military, meanwhile, has said “hostages and prisoners of war,” including both soldiers and civilians, have been taken captive.

Videos verified by The New York Times appear to show five Israelis with their hands behind their backs being led by armed men on a road in Be’eri kibbutz, near the southeastern border with Gaza.

A “substantial” number of Israeli citizens and soldiers are being held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli military, Haaretz reports.

Israeli broadcaster N12 News reported that up to 50 hostages were being held in a dining hall in Be’eri.

The reports of hostages underscore the already devastating civilian toll of the one-day conflict.

At least 150 Israelis and 230 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, Haaretz reports.

The assault began early on Saturday, when Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip stormed into southern Israel by land, air, and sea, appearing to catch the famed Israeli security apparatus by suprise.

Hamas militants next to a destroyed Israeli tank at the Gaza Strip fence east of Khan Younis


Thousands of rockets from Gaza have been fired into civilian areas in Israel.

In response, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is “at war.”

“Our enemy will pay a price the type of which it has never known,” he said. “We are in a war and we will win it.”

Joe Biden spoke with Mr Netanyahu on Saturday and condemned the “appalling Hamas terrorist attacks” against the US ally.

“The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel,” President Biden said in a White House statement on Saturday morning. “Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people.”

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