Hamas official: Hostages will ‘not return alive’ unless Israel meets group’s demands

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

A woman walks past photographs in Jerusalem of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, January 3, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
A woman walks past photographs in Jerusalem of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, January 3, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

The Hamas terror group says the hostages in its hands will “not return alive to their families unless Netanyahu and his army commanders agree to the conditions” set by Hamas, the first of which is a complete cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

It is believed that 132 hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7 remain in Gaza — not all of them alive — after 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity during a weeklong truce in late November.

In a press conference, Hamas politburo member Osama Hamdan lashes out at US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken — who departed Israel today amid a whirlwind tour of the region — for saying that many countries in the region are ready to invest in the future of Gaza.

“We reiterate that the Palestinian people are masters of their decisions,” Hamdan says.

“We call on the American administration once again to stop its policies that are hampering efforts to end the war,” Hamdan adds, referencing American vetoes to block anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council.

With regard to the trial against Israel in the Hague set to begin tomorrow, Hamdan says: “We call on the International Court of Justice not to yield to pressure from the American administration, which is a partner in the continuation of the war against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.”

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