Hamas claims fives hostages — including three Israelis — killed in Gaza strike

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Hamas’ military wing on Saturday alleged that three elderly Israeli nationals were among five hostages supposedly killed in an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip.

The terror group claimed that five hostages – including Israelis Chaim Peri, Yoram Metsger, and Amiram Cooper – were killed since contact was lost with the Hamas members tasked with guarding them, Al-Qassam Brigades posted on Telegram.

The additional two hostages were not named in the post.

Peri, 79, Metzger, 80, and 84-year-old Cooper were all kidnapped by Hamas from Kibbutz Nir Oz during the Oct. 7 massacre.

Earlier this week, the men appeared together in a disturbing video Hamas shared on social media.

In the footage, the three Israelis, all with uncut beards after 10 weeks in captivity, were seen sitting side-by-side facing the camera.

The group was “suffering greatly in very harsh conditions,” Peri said in the footage.

Chaim Peri, Yoram Metsger, and Amiram Cooper were taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7. Getty Images

He pleaded with Israel to secure their release.

Israel subsequently denounced the cruel clip as a “criminal, terrorist video” that was indicative of “Hamas’ cruelty against very elderly civilians, innocents who need medical care.”

Peri – a film lecturer and activist – was abducted from his home on the kibbutz while trying to shield his wife behind a couch, his family told the media.

The bodies of Palestinians killed in Gaza on Saturday. Getty Images
Chaim Peri, Yoram Metsger, and Amiram Cooper were taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7. HAMAS via REUTERS

He eventually gave himself over to the Hamas invaders in order to ensure she remained hidden, they said.

“He doesn’t look good, to say the truth. He looks thin and tired and not himself,” Peri’s daughter, Noam Peri, told PBS News Hour after seeing her father in the terrorist’s video.

“He looks sad. It was hard. It was hard to see him like this,” she lamented, adding that she does believe her father was speaking in “his own words” in the video.

Two women mourn amid the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Getty Images

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Metzger was kidnapped alongside his wife, 78-year-old Tamar Metzger, who was released in mid-November, the Times of Israel reported.

Metzger has diabetes and still had limited mobility from a broken hip, his family told the outlet.

“It was joy for a moment to see them alive. It was shocking to see them like this, with grown out beards, having lost weight and looking weak and pale,” his daughter-in-law Ayala Metzger said this week of the Hamas video.

Cooper, an economist, was one of the founders of Kibbutz Nir Oz, and was also kidnapped with his wife, Nurit, the Times of Israel said.

After Nurit was released on Oct. 23, she told her family about their horrifying abduction.

During the first weeks of their captivity, the Coopers were kept together with five other kibbutz members, their son later explained. Their holding place was so dark and obscure that it was impossible to tell whether it was day or night, he said.

Hamas’ claim that the three men were killed by an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip comes less than two weeks after the Israel Defense Forces admitted that they mistakenly killed three Israeli hostages while on patrol in Gaza City.

Gaza has been the subject of a retaliatory bombardment by Israel since Oct. 7.

The massive military effort is thought to have killed around 20,000 people, according to unconfirmed reports by the area’s Hamas-linked health ministry.

Hamas does not differentiate between civilian deaths and the deaths of its fighters.

With Post wires

Read More: Hamas claims fives hostages — including three Israelis — killed in Gaza strike

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