Israel denies negotiating with Hamas for release of hostages
October 13, 2023
(JNS) — As Israel entered its third day of war with Hamas, an Israeli official denied it was negotiating for the release of hostages held by the terror group via Qatar.
“There is no negotiation,” an Israeli official said, according to The Times of Israel, disavowing the claim of a Hamas source to the contary.
Qatari mediators have been trying to negotiate the freedom of Israeli women and children in exchange for the release of 36 Palestinian women and children from Israel’s prisons, Reuters reported on Monday.
The negotiations, conducted by Qatar in coordination with the United States since Saturday night, have been “moving positively,” the source told the news outlet.
Hamas terrorists abducted more than 100 Israeli citizens to the Gaza Strip during Saturday’s terrorist assault, Israel’s Government Press Office said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Footage circulating online showed Hamas terrorists taking numerous Israelis into Gaza, including women, children and the elderly. A father interviewed by Channel 12 said his two daughters, aged three and five, were missing and feared kidnapped.
The IDF is currently conducting wide-scale strikes on several strategic centers belonging to Hamas as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces have regained control of all the communities near the strip, the army said on Monday. However, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari warned that there are still terrorists in the area.
Early Monday morning, exchanges of fire took place at Kibbutz Be’eri, Kibbutz Holit, Kibbutz Kfar Aza, Kibbutz Nir Oz, Kibbutz Nirim, Kibbutz Alumim and the Gavim Junction near the city of Sderot.
In addition, dozens of sirens have sounded in communities around the Gaza Strip, Ashkelon and central Israel warning of possible missile strikes from the Hamas-controlled enclave.
Hagari said that the military has called up 300,000 reservists.