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Hamas’s armed wing says it is holding Israeli colonel thought to have been killed on Oct 7

Hamas said on Thursday it was holding an Israeli colonel captured on Oct. 7, who Israel had previously reported was killed in the attacks that day.

Agencies and A News MIDDLE EAST
Published May 24,2024
(File Photo)

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian group Hamas, said Thursday that it had captured an Israeli military commander during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel last year.

The announcement contradicted previous reports from the Israel army which said he was killed in the attacks that day.

In a video, the brigades said that "Col. Asaf Hamami, commander of the Gaza Division's Southern Brigade, was captured on Oct. 7 and was injured during his arrest."

The video also posed a question about Hamami's fate, considering his injuries sustained during the Oct. 7 attack, saying "what is his fate now?"

The brigades further criticized the stance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, saying: "What kind of political leadership leaves its military commanders in captivity?"

The video added that "Time is running out for him."

According to Israeli estimates, around 128 Israelis are currently being held captive in Gaza, while Israel is detaining approximately 9,500 Palestinians.

Despite Hamas's acceptance of an Egyptian-Qatari proposal for a cease-fire and prisoner exchange on May 6, Netanyahu accused the Palestinian resistance group of attempting to sabotage Israeli military operations in Rafah.

He said that Hamas's position fell short of satisfying Israel's essential demands.

Simultaneously, Israel initiated a military operation in Rafah and subsequently seized control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing on May 7, preventing the entry of humanitarian aid.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 last year, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

More than 35,800 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and at least 80,200 others injured since last October.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered it to ensure that its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.