Hamas threatens to kill hostages
Hamas will execute an Israeli hostage and broadcast the killing online every time a no-warning strike by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) hits civilians in Gaza, a spokesman threatened on Monday.
“Any targeting of any civilians without warning will be met with the execution of a civilian hostage in our custody,” the masked spokesman for Al-Qassam Brigades said in a message broadcast by Al Jazeera. “We will be forced to broadcast this execution. We regret this decision, but we hold [Israel] and its leadership responsible for this.”
Hamas has captured a number of Israeli soldiers and civilians since Saturday, when its militants infiltrated the Jewish settlements near Gaza. A spokesman for the group, Mousa Abu Marzouk, told the Arabic news outlet al-Ghad TV that it had “over a hundred” captives, including “high-ranking” Israeli officers. Another Palestinian group, Islamic Jihad, said on Sunday that it had at least 30 hostages as well.
In previous airstrikes against Gaza, Israel had used the so-called “roof-knocking” technique – in which non-explosives are dropped onto a targeted civilian home – to warn civilians in residential towers to get out before their building was bombed. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) skipped that step on Monday, launching a series of strikes on Gaza that have killed at least 560 people, according to the local authorities.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the country was “at war” and promised Hamas retaliation they “have never known before.” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has announced a “complete siege” of Gaza, cutting off food, fuel, and electricity to the Palestinian territory. Residents of Gaza were told to leave before they were “obliterated” but have nowhere to go.