Hamas warned on Sunday that none of the hostages it took in its attack against Israel on October 7 and who remain captive in the Gaza Strip will be released, unless it is agreed to exchange them for imprisoned Palestinians. in Israel, as has already happened. before.
“None of the enemy’s captives have been released nor will they be released, except through an exchange operation,” Abu Obaida, spokesman for the Al Qasam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in a statement after Israeli ground troops tried – unsuccessful – rescue of hostages on the Strip on Friday.
Netanyahu called on Hamas members to surrender
For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the militants of the Islamist group Hamas to surrender their weapons instead of dying for their leader Yahya Sinwar, who, according to the Israeli authorities , is in the Gaza Strip. . “I told the terrorists of Hamas: it is over. Do not die for Sinwar,” said Netanyahu, according to a statement released by his office, in which he assured that “the beginning of the end” of the Islamist group has arrived and that “In recent days, dozens of Hamas terrorists have surrendered.”
Caught in the conflict, the situation of Gazans worsened with time. Driven from their homes, bombed, without water and without hospitals to go to if they are injured, they face, as the World Health Organization warns, an inevitable scenario of epidemics.
The US left the duration of the offensive in Israel’s hands
Precisely, this Sunday the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, stated that the Government of Israel has full power to determine the duration of its offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, while regretting that the Israeli Army does not always fulfill its promise to protect. the civilian population of the enclave.
“I think that special emphasis should be placed on protecting civilians and ensuring that humanitarian aid reaches those who need it. I think the (Israeli) intentions are there, but the results are not always there. “show themselves,” he indicated in an interview with the ‘CNN’ network.
Regarding the duration of the campaign, Blinken indicated that “these types of decisions correspond to Israel”, after recent reports about meetings between US and Israeli security officials regarding military deadlines .
This week, US officials told CNN that they expect the current phase of Israel’s invasion of Gaza to last several weeks before Israel moves, possibly in January, to a hyper-localized, lower- intensity strategy. . In this regard, Netanyahu assured that the operation against the enclave “will last as long as necessary, until Hamas is eliminated.”