Hamas claimed its fighters had taken a number of Israelis captive within the enclave, releasing ugly movies of militants dragging bloodied troopers throughout the bottom and standing over lifeless our bodies, a few of them stripped to their underwear. It stated that senior Israeli navy officers had been among the many captives.
The movies couldn’t instantly be verified however matched geographic options of the realm. Fears that Israelis had been kidnapped evoked the 2006 seize of soldier Gilad Shalit, whom Hamas-linked militants seized in a cross-border raid. Hamas held Shalit for 5 years till he was exchanged for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
In a dramatic escalation unseen in a long time, Hamas additionally despatched paragliders flying into Israel, the Israeli navy stated. The brazen assault recalled a well-known assault within the late Nineteen Eighties when Palestinian militants crossed from Lebanon into northern Israel on hang-gliders and killed six Israeli troopers.
The Israeli military belatedly confirmed that troopers and civilians had been taken hostage in Gaza, however refused to supply additional particulars.
A DANGEROUS GAMBLE BY HAMAS
Hamas officers cited long-simmering sources of stress between Israel and the Palestinians, together with the dispute across the delicate Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is is sacred to each Muslims and Jews and stays on the emotional coronary heart of the Israeli-Palestinian battle. Competing claims over the positioning, recognized to Jews because the Temple Mount, have spilled into violence earlier than, together with a bloody 11-day struggle between Israel and Hamas in 2021.
Lately, Israeli non secular nationalists — comparable to Nationwide Safety Minister Ben-Gvir — have elevated their visits to the compound. Final week, in the course of the Jewish harvest competition of Sukkot, lots of of ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli activists visited the positioning, prompting condemnation from Hamas and accusations that Jews had been praying there in violation of the established order settlement.
Hamas statements have additionally cited the growth of Jewish settlements on lands that the Palestinians declare for a future state and Ben-Gvir’s efforts to toughen restrictions on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Extra not too long ago, tensions have escalated with violent Palestinian protests alongside the Gaza frontier. In negotiations with Qatar, Egypt and the United Nations, Hamas has pushed for Israeli concessions that would loosen the 17-year blockade on the enclave and assist halt a worsening monetary disaster that has sharpened public criticism of its rule.
Some political analysts have linked Hamas’ assault to ongoing US-brokered talks on normalisation of ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. To this point, studies of potential concessions to Palestinians within the negotiations have concerned Palestinians within the occupied West Financial institution, not Gaza.
“Now we have all the time stated that normalisation is not going to obtain safety, stability, or calm,” Bassem Naim, a senior Hamas official, advised the AP.