ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 144

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Kibbutz Be’eri resident hears ‘lots of gunfire’ amid unconfirmed reports of hostages held there

Ella, a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri, tells Channel 12 that she is in a safe room at her home in the kibbutz and is hearing “lots of gunfire” nearby.

She speaks amid unconfirmed reports that Hamas gunmen are holding hostages at the kibbutz dining hall.

Meanwhile, another resident of the south says his wife and daughters have disappeared, and that he has traced his wife’s phone — which doesn’t answer — to Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. He says he fears his family has been kidnapped to Gaza.

Hamas claims to have kidnapped dozens of Israeli civilians and soldiers to Gaza.

These reports are not officially confirmed by Israel. Channel 12 news reports, however, that Hamas has kidnapped men and women, young and old, civilians and soldiers to the Gaza Strip. The infiltration is proving “far more successful” from Hamas’s perspective than it would have expected, the TV station’s Ohad Hemo says, and Hamas almost certainly doesn’t know itself how many Israelis it has kidnapped.

In turn, though, Hemo says, the Israeli response in Gaza is likely to be much more far-reaching than Hamas would have expected.

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