Hamas terrorists threatened to execute their Israeli hostages, which include the elderly, women and children, if Israel continues its attacks in Gaza “targeting of innocent civilians without warning,” a Hamas spokesman said, according to a translation by Al Jazeera. The threats come after Hamas terrorists conducted a surprise attack in Israel, killing over 700 Israeli civilians and wounding thousands more.
“From this moment on, we announce that any targeting of innocent civilians without warning will be met, regretfully to say, by executing one of the hostages in our custody. And we will be forced to broadcast this execution,” the terrorist spokesman said.
It is unclear how many hostages were taken by Hamas, with estimates ranging from around 40 to more than 100 people, including Americans.
Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) international spokesperson, told CNN that “civilians, children and grandmothers” were among the hostages.
An Israeli mother told CNN that her children, ages 16 and 12, were home alone when gunshots rang out near their house. They were on a call with their mother when a terrorist broke down their door.
“I heard terrorists speaking in Arabic to my teenagers. And the youngest saying to them ‘I’m too young to go,’” the mother said. “And the phone went off, the line went off. That was the last time I heard from them.”
CNN did not reveal the identities of the mother and her children for safety reasons.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog highlighted the horrifying reality of the Hamas attack, writing on X, “Not since the Holocaust have so many Jews been killed on one day.”
“And not since the Holocaust have we witnessed scenes of Jewish women and children, Grandparents, even Holocaust survivors being herded into trucks and taken into captivity,” Herzog said. “Hamas has imported, adopted and replicated the savagery of ISIS. Entering civilian homes on a holy day and murdering in cold blood whole families, young and old, violating and burning bodies, beating and torturing their innocent victims.”
“Israel is a very strong country and we will employ all its might and strength to defend itself and its people. I pray for the swift and full recovery of the injured. I pray for the bereaved families. And I pray for the well-being of those taken hostage,” he continued. “I know that Israel will emerge stronger, more resilient, and united.”
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.