Palestinian Islamic Jihad willing to release two Israeli hostages

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad is willing to release two Israeli hostages they are holding, the terror group’s spokesperson announced on Thursday, according to Israeli media reports. 

The spokesperson said that an elderly woman and a child could be released. They were later named as Hanna Katzir, 77, and Yagil Yaakov, 12, both of Kibbutz Nir Oz. Yaakov was kidnapped alongside his father, his father’s partner, and his brother Or, 16.

A video was released through unofficial channels that shows Katzir and Yaakov addressing Israelis.

“I am Hanna Katzir, from Kibbutz Nir Oz,” the woman in the video says. “I am currently here in a place that isn’t mine, I miss my home my children, my husband Rami, and all my dear family. I am sending regards, telling you I love you. I hope I will succeed in seeing you next week. I hope everyone is healthy.

Thousands gather as families of hostages vow to not return home until their loved ones are freed. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
As was shown in an earlier hostage video, Katzir then turns on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying “I think that who is responsible for this and for us fighting amongst ourselves is Bibi Netanyahu. Because of him, our children were killed. He has made a lot of mistakes and it has impacted on our society, and that of others.”

“Hello. My name is Yigal Yaakov,” Yaakov states in his message. “I miss my family like crazy, and my friends, and I love you all. I want to say thank you to all the supporters, and all those who are working in the government to get me and all the hostages home. I want to say to Netanyahu, that all these explosions are crazy. You are killing us hostages. You don’t return the water, the electricity, or medication. We as hostages also need this.”


Israel believes most hostages still alive

Most of the 240 hostages held in Gaza are believed to still be alive, according to Israeli security services. 

Two American-Israeli hostages, Judith (Yehudit) Tai Raanan and Natalie Shoshana Raanan, were released on October 20, on “humanitarian grounds” and IDF’s soldiers rescued kidnapped Pvt. Ori Megidish from Gaza on October 29.

It was also reported that the CIA and Mossad chiefs met with the Qatari prime minister in Doha on Thursday to discuss the parameters of a deal for hostage releases and a pause in Hamas-Israel fighting in the Gaza Strip, a source briefed on the meeting told Reuters.

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