Israel’s military said it has confirmed that at least 97 people were taken as hostages when Hamas attacked southern towns and communities on Saturday.
(Bloomberg) — Israel’s military said it has confirmed that at least 97 people were taken as hostages when Hamas attacked southern towns and communities on Saturday.
Their families have been notified, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari told journalists on Thursday.
He didn’t specify if the 97 are all Israeli or include foreigners, or whether the IDF knows they were alive when they were abducted. There’s speculation that Hamas and the other militants who carried out the attacks, which killed more than 1,200 Israelis, took some corpses so as to make Israel think the hostage toll was higher.
Click here for more on the Israel-Hamas war
Israel has carried out mass airstrikes on Gaza and is widely expected to be preparing a ground assault. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday said of Hamas: “We will wipe them off the face of the Earth.”
The latest rhetoric suggests Israel probably isn’t waiting to secure the hostages’ safety before going in.
“This is not time for difficult questions,” said Benny Gantz, a former head of the Israeli army who was yesterday name in a three-member “war cabinet” along with Gallant and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “This is the time for overwhelming answers on the battlefield.”
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.