Freed Hamas hostages warn of ‘colossal danger’ in Gaza tunnels as they push for cease-fire

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Former Hamas hostages have warned the Israeli army of the “colossal danger” hidden in Gaza’s 300-mile-long tunnel system — as they called for a new cease-fire deal to free the remaining captives.

Several of the more than 100 hostages who were freed last month met with Israeli officials Saturday night to discuss what they went through in Gaza, the Times of Israel reports.

One former hostage, who was not publicly named, told Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and fellow war cabinet Minister Benny Gantz that their weeks in captivity were spent in fear that they could die any day.

“There’s no time. Every passing day is terrifying,” the freed Israeli said. “You have no idea what kind of monsters we are dealing with.”

The former hostage claimed that Hamas told them that the Israel Defense Forces would employ the infamous “Hannibal Directive” on civilians, a revoked protocol that once allegedly called on troops to prioritize taking out terrorists even if it meant killing a kidnapped soldier.

Members of Israel’s war cabinet met with former hostages and the family of current captives. News 12
The former captives warned about the amount of movement in Hamas’ underground tunnels, where some corridors are large enough to let vehicles pass. IDF

“We were scared when the [IDF] bombings were close,” the ex-hostage said. “They were so close that we begged them to take us into the tunnels [for safety], and at one stage they did.”

The person added that Israeli soldiers should avoid the tunnels at all cost, as Hamas will not hesitate to hide behind its hostages.

“Don’t go into the tunnels,” the freed hostage warned. “They are moving around in there in vast numbers. It’s a colossal danger to soldiers and to hostages.”

With the constant danger facing those who were kidnapped Oct. 7, the former hostage said the Jewish state needed to do everything possible to free the more than 100 Israelis still being held in Gaza.

The IDF said Sunday that it had found one such tunnel near the border, offering a rare glimpse as to how they’re constructed. IDF
The freed hostages are calling on Israel to do whatever it can to negotiate the release of the more than 100 people still being held in Gaza. via REUTERS

Gallant and Gantz assured those at the meeting, which included relatives of the captives, that freeing the hostages was their top priority.

“First, the hostages have to be returned. We’ll have a lifetime to battle Hamas,” Gantz said.

The war cabinet minister added that capturing Hamas’ top commander in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, would only be a symbolic victory and that the real fight would be to remove his ideals from Gaza.

The safety of the hostages has become a heated topic especially after three Israeli hostages were mistakenly killed by the IDF.

Yotam Haim, Samer Talalka and Alon Shamriz were shot dead when they were accidentally “targeted” in Shejaiya by Israeli soldiers..

It believed the three hostages “fled or were abandoned by the terrorists who held them captive,” according to the IDF.

Shamriz, 26, was buried Sunday in a funeral that saw hundreds gather at a cemetery in Shafiim. It’s unclear if any government officials attended the funeral.

Ido Shamriz attended the funeral of his brother, Alon Shamriz, on Sunday after Ido was mistakenly killed by the IDF along with two other hostages. REUTERS

Since the death of the hostages, Netanyahu appeared to suggest Saturday that a new round of negotiations were under way with Hamas and Qatar to free those still in captivity in Gaza.

It was reported Saturday that the chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency was meeting with Qatari officials to discuss a possible new hostage deal with Hamas.

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