LAST UPDATE: 21:12
The Israeli military today called “psychological terrorism of the manipulative kind” the release earlier today by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad of a video showing two Israeli hostages, a 70-year-old woman and a teenager, it says it is holding in Gaza.
This is “psychological terrorism of the manipulative kind,” said a spokesman for the military, Richard Hecht, during a press briefing.
Israeli media reported on this video, showing a screenshot of it.
Nearly 240 people, both Israeli and foreign citizens, were kidnapped in the October 7 attack by Hamas. Hamas’s military wing says it is holding nearly 200.
The spokesman for Islamic Jihad, known as Abu Hamza, said in the video that his organization was also holding hostages without specifying their number.
In the video, the two hostages express a desire to be released quickly to be reunited with their relatives and criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the crisis.
The spokesman announced that Islamic Jihad was ready to release the 70-year-old “for humanitarian and health reasons”. “We can no longer give her the care she needs because of the lack of fuel, electricity and basic means of survival.”
As for the teenager, the organization says it is willing to release him “for humanitarian reasons and because of his age, even though the occupier’s prisons are full of children” of Palestinians.
“Our initiative will take place if the security conditions on the ground are met to ensure the protection of our Palestinian people,” he said, adding that the hostages’ lives could be endangered by Israeli shelling.
Israel hailed videos released earlier by Palestinian militants showing two hostages being held in Gaza as an important sign of life, but declined to say whether they would be released, saying that doing so would be like playing the “psychological warfare” of the kidnappers.
“This is a sign of life, and it’s important,” the chief spokesman for the Israeli armed forces, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said when asked about the elderly woman and boy held by the Islamic Jihad group. “I will, for now, ignore the issue of their release… We will be the first to notify the families before anything happens.”