Hamas International Wants to Release a Number of Hostages, What Does Israel Say? News – 36 minutes ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Hamas’ armed wing said it would free several foreign hostages from Gaza in the coming days, without providing further details.

Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida announced the decision in a video address on Tuesday (31/10/2023), in which he also promised to turn Gaza into a “graveyard” and “swamp” for Israeli forces amid increased ground operations.

“We have informed the intermediaries that we will release a number of foreigners in the next few days,” Obeida said, as reported by Al Jazeera.

More than 230 people, including Israeli soldiers and civilians, as well as foreigners from various countries, were taken prisoner by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups during a deadly attack on Israel on October 7 that Israeli authorities said killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.

Israel, human rights groups, and the United Nations have called for the hostages’ immediate release, and those with loved ones held hostage have asked the Israeli government to guarantee their release.

“Hamas and Islamic Jihad committed war crimes by holding scores of Israelis and others hostage in Gaza,” human rights group Human Rights Watch said in an earlier statement. “No complaint can justify taking anyone hostage,” he added.

Five hostages have been released so far, most of them after negotiations through diplomatic channels with help from countries including Qatar and Egypt, and one after a ground offensive by Israeli forces in Gaza.

On Tuesday, the families of Israeli victims of the October 7 killings asked the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose jurisdiction Israel does not recognize, to investigate the killings and kidnappings.

Tel Aviv-based international lawyer Yael Vias Gvirsman, representing the families of more than 34 victims, filed an “article 15 communication” with the ICC, urging ICC prosecutor Karim Khan to focus the ongoing investigation into alleged crimes in his jurisdiction related to Hamas attacks.

Reuters confirmed that the ICC prosecutor’s office had received the application and was considering the request.

The Palestinian Authority joined the court in 2015 and was granted UN observer state status, so that the ICC could begin follow-up investigations into alleged crimes committed in the Palestinian territories and committed by Palestinians in Israeli territory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision a “perversion of justice” at the time.

During a visit to the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza at the weekend, Khan said that blocking aid access to Gaza could be considered a crime under the ICC’s jurisdiction.

He also said that he had tried to enter Gaza and Israel to meet with the families of the victims, but this had not been possible.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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