Hamas says it repelled Israeli rescue attempt in Gaza, hostage killed


Gaza truce

DUBAI/JERUSALEM: The armed wing of Hamas said on Friday it had repelled an attempted hostage rescue by Israeli special forces in the Gaza Strip, inflicting several military casualties, and that a captive also died in the incident.

Israel declined comment, accusing the Palestinian Islamist faction of attempting psychological warfare against it.

In a statement on Telegram, Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades said its fighters discovered a special forces unit mounting a rescue attempt and attacked it, killing and wounding several soldiers. It did specify the location of the incident.

It said a captive Israeli soldier was killed, naming him as Sa’ar Baruch, 25. Lists of the hostages published by Israel identify one of them as Sahar Baruch, a civilian student who was 24 when he was seized from his home during the Oct 7 cross-border Hamas killing and kidnapping spree that triggered the war.

Of some 240 people taken hostage that day, 137 remain in Gaza captivity after others were recovered during a truce. Some have been declared dead in absentia by Israeli authorities.

“We are not going to comment on psychological warfare that Hamas continues to wage against the people of Israel,” Eylon Levy, an Israeli government spokesperson, said in a briefing when asked about the Hamas account of the botched raid.

“We hold Hamas fully responsible for the safety and wellbeing of those hostages,” he said, reiterating an Israeli demand – so far unmet – for the Red Cross to visit them.

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