Thursday, July 18, 2024

Netanyahu’s first comments on Hamas release of two American hostages


(CNN) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that his country will continue working to return all hostages after freeing two American hostages held by Hamas.

In a statement posted on social media, Netanyahu said, “We will not ease efforts to return all abducted and disappeared people, and at the same time, we will continue to fight until victory is achieved.”

An Israeli Prime Minister’s Office official told CNN that the two American hostages were released as a result of the Israeli military’s continued pressure on Hamas.

The official added, “Pressure is being put on Hamas, and these pressures will intensify until we believe we can get all our hostages out.” The release of the two American hostages “does not change Israel’s plans in Gaza,” he said.

He said: “Releasing them does not change the mission of eliminating Hamas,” and added that releasing the hostages “could be an attempt by Hamas to minimize the Israeli military response.”

The source denied Hamas’ claims that the hostages were released for “humanitarian reasons” and opined that “humanity doesn’t really apply to Hamas. They are barbarians.”

The official declined to discuss whether Israel believes other American hostages are alive inside Gaza or to provide any information on the status of hostages from other countries.

Abu Ubaidah, a spokesman for al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said in a statement following the release of the two American prisoners: “In response to Qatar’s efforts, we released two American prisoners (a mother and her daughter. ) for humanitarian reasons and to prove the charges to the American people and the world. .. “False and baseless accusations of Biden and his fascist administration.”

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Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid al-Ansari said in a statement, “We will continue our dialogue with the Israelis and Hamas, and we hope these efforts will lead to the release of civilian hostages from all countries. The intensity of the present crisis and the restoration of peace.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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