The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), announced that they have released two American hostages for “humanitarian reasons” in response to Qatari mediation efforts. This move is aimed at refuting what they claim are false and baseless allegations made by the U.S. This release marks the first instance of hostages being freed by the group since the conflict began nearly two weeks ago. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the release but also stated that there would be no pause in the military’s actions.
The two released hostages are reported to be a mother and daughter who are U.S. citizens. Their citizenship status in Israel is unclear. U.S. President Joe Biden thanked Qatar and Israel for their assistance in securing the release and confirmed that a team from the U.S. Embassy in Israel will soon meet with the two Americans. However, there are still 10 Americans who remain unaccounted for, with some believed to be held by Hamas. The conflict has resulted in significant casualties and displacement on both sides, with thousands of Palestinians killed and many more wounded, and a large number of Israelis affected by rocket attacks and infiltrations.
Source – CGTN