IDF said to drop leaflets in Rafah urging Palestinians to help locate hostages held by Hamas

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

A leaflet dropped by the IDF over Rafah on April 12, 2024. (Courtesy)
A leaflet dropped by the IDF over Rafah on April 12, 2024. (Courtesy)

The IDF has reportedly dropped leaflets in the Tel Sultan neighborhood of southern Gaza’s Rafah, urging Palestinians seeking refuge there to help locate hostages held by Hamas.

“If you want to protect your families and guarantee your future, do not hesitate to provide us with information about the hostages or those holding them,” the flyers, showing the names and photos of 35 hostages, read.

The leaflets include a phone number that can be contacted via the Telegram, WhatsApp and Signal messaging apps. There is also a link to a website that displays similar information.

The IDF has made use of leaflets to encourage Gazans to share information on hostages’ whereabouts throughout the war, as well as on the location of Hamas leaders, placing sizable bounties on the enclave’s arch-terrorists.

It is believed that 129 hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7 remain in Gaza. Hamas has also been holding the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin since 2014, as well as two Israeli civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are both thought to be alive after entering the Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

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