Hamas releases video of two Israeli captives held in Gaza

The two men, identified as Keith Siegel and Omri Miran, send love to their families and ask to be released in the video.

A man holds a portrait of Siegel, held by Palestinian fighters since the October 7 attack [File: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]Published On 27 Apr 202427 Apr 2024

Hamas’s military wing has published a video of two Israeli captives held in Gaza, showing footage of them calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to make a deal to secure their release.

The video released on Saturday is similarly filmed to previous captive videos made public by the group, which Israel has condemned as “psychological terrorism”.

Keep reading

list of 3 itemsend of list

The two men, identified as Keith Siegel, 64, and Omri Miran, 47, speak individually in front of an empty background. They send their love to their families and ask to be released.

Miran was taken captive from his home in the community of Nahal Oz in front of his wife and two young daughters during the October 7 Hamas attack.

“I have been here in Hamas captivity for 202 days. The situation here is unpleasant, difficult and there are many bombs,” Miran is heard saying in the footage, indicating it was taken earlier this week.

“It’s time to reach a deal that will get us out of here safe and healthy … Keep protesting, so that there will be a deal now.”

Saturday’s video comes as Hamas says it is studying Israel’s latest counterproposal for a Gaza ceasefire after reports that mediator Egypt had sent a delegation to Israel to jump-start stalled negotiations.

The video was published during the Passover holiday, when Jews traditionally celebrate the biblical story of gaining freedom from slavery in Egypt.

At one point, Siegel breaks down crying as he recounts celebrating the holiday with his family last year and expresses hope that they will be reunited.

“We are in danger here, there are bombs, it is stressful and scary,” he said, burying his face in his arms as he cried.

“I want to tell my family that I love you very much. It’s important to me that you know that I am fine.”

The latest video comes just three days after Hamas released another video showing captive Hersh Goldberg-Polin alive.

About 250 Israelis and foreigners were taken captive during the Hamas assault, which killed 1,139 people, according to Israeli tallies.

In response, Israel launched an assault on Gaza, pledging to destroy Hamas and bring the captives home. The war has so far killed at least 34,388 Palestinians.

The Israeli military has said 129 of the captives are still being held in Gaza, including the bodies of 34 people who died in captivity.

Reporting from Tel Aviv, Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith said the families and friends of the captives were relieved to see evidence that they were alive.

“They’ve said ‘time is running out. We need our Prime Minister [Benjamin Natanyahu] to accept any deal fast’,” he said.

Smith was speaking from a protest against Netanyahu.

“These protests are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Netanyahu. They’re calling for an end to the war and they’re calling for the release of hostages,” he said.

“Many of the protesters here are saying Netanyahu is deliberately prolonging this war in Gaza because it saves him from the ultimate reckoning of the ballot box.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies