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29 May, 2024 11:27

Palestinian armed group releases video of Russian hostage

The man in the clip published by Islamic Jihad lives in Israel and has dual citizenship
Palestinian armed group releases video of Russian hostage

The Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad has uploaded a short video online showing one of the hostages its fighters captured during the October 7 attack on Israel last year.

The man featured in the 30-second-long clip is 27-year-old Alexander Trufanov, who has both Israeli and Russian citizenship.

In the footage, Trufanov identifies himself, and calls upon the Israelis who are taking part in rallies demanding that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facilitate the release of the hostages to show patience.

The man also promises that he will soon reveal the “truth” about what happened to him and dozens of other captives who are being held in Gaza.

The surprise attack Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian armed groups launched against Israel on October 7 resulted in approximately 1,200 people being killed and 252 others being taken hostage. The incursion prompted a retaliatory Israeli military operation in Gaza, which is still ongoing. According to the latest data from the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry, the death toll from Israeli airstrikes and ground offensive in the area has reached 36,096; 81,136 others are listed as wounded.

According to Israeli authorities, 121 hostages remain in Gaza; 37 of them are presumed to be dead. Hamas released 105 civilians during a week-long truce in October; they had also let four other captives go earlier. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was also able to rescue three hostages and recover the bodies of 19 others, including the corpses of three captives accidentally killed by Israeli troops.

According to the Times of Israel, Trufanov and four of his family members were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz near the border with Gaza on October 7. His father Vitaly Trufanov was killed in the attack.

Trufanov’s mother, girlfriend and grandmother were set free in a hostage swap in November, with Russia’s Foreign Ministry taking part in negotiating their release. Mother Yelena Trufanova said afterwards that President Vladimir Putin should be credited for her return home. The Trufanovs immigrated to Israel 25 years ago, according to the media.

Trufanova told the Times of Israel on Wednesday that seeing her son alive in the clip “is very joyous, but also heartbreaking because he is still in captivity.” The mother also urged decision-makers on all sides to “please do everything to bring him and all the hostages home now.”

Last week, the Israeli government said that it had ordered its negotiating team “to continue talks for the return of the hostages.” The ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas have been stalled, with the Palestinian group conditioning the release of captives on the Israelis ending their military operation in Gaza.

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