Leaders of 18 nations call on Hamas to release captives

AFP , Thursday 25 Apr 2024

The leaders of the United States, Britain, France and more than a dozen other countries called in a joint statement Thursday for Hamas to release the scores of captives it is holding.

 Tel Aviv
Relatives of Israeli hostages held in Gaza since the October 7 attacks by Palestinian militants, and supporters, protest outside the Defence Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv on April 25, 2024. AFP


Hamas resistance group seized the captives during a shock October 7 attack that sparked the Israeli war on Gaza.

"We call for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza for over 200 days. They include our own citizens," the leaders said.

"We emphasize that the deal on the table to release the hostages would bring an immediate and prolonged ceasefire in Gaza, that would facilitate a surge of additional necessary humanitarian assistance to be delivered throughout Gaza, and lead to the credible end of hostilities," they said.

"We strongly support the ongoing mediation efforts in order to bring our people home."

Israel estimates 129 of the roughly 250 people abducted during the Hamas attack on October 7 remain in Gaza, including 34 who the military says are dead.

The Hamas attack resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, according to official Israeli figures.

At least 34,305 people have been killed in Gaza during more than six months of Israeli brutal war againt Palestinians living in the strip, the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said Thursday.

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