Hamas claims it released two hostages; no confirmation

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

The spokesperson for Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Obeida, claims to have released two Israeli hostages who were being held in the Gaza Strip.

Abu Obeida names the two hostages, and says they are being released for “humanitarian reasons,” following Egyptian and Qatari mediation.

On Saturday, Abu Obeida claimed that the terror group wanted to release the same two hostages, but that Israel declined to accept them. Following the claim, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says it would not respond to “Hamas’s propaganda lies.”

There is no immediate comment from Israeli officials about Hamas’s latest claim.

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