Hamas warns Israel’s Rafah offensive will blow up hostage talks, says 2 killed in strikes

Around 130 hostages are held by Hamas in Gaza

Israel Hamas hostage deal People attend a rally calling for the release of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel | Reuters

As Israel gears for ground offensive in Rafah, Hamas has given an ultimatum that if it proceed with the strikes then hostage exchange negotiations will "blow up".

Any Israeli ground offensive in Rafah will blow up the hostage exchange negotiations, Hamas-run Aqsa television channel quoted a senior Hamas leader saying.

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered the military to develop an evacuation plan for Rafah ahead of the expected ground offensive. Netanyahu had said that four Hamas battalions deployed there would be destroyed.

Many nations has expressed concerns over Israel's planned offensive in Rafah. "We warn of the serious repercussions of the continuation of the occupation in its indiscriminate aggression in the Gaza Strip and its plans to storm Rafah,” the Omani foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We appeal to the international community to take concrete measures to dissuade Israel from its arrogance and push it to cease fire and open the crossings,” it said.

Meanwhile, Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip during the past 96 hours have killed two Israeli hostages and seriously injured eight others.

“Their conditions are becoming more dangerous in light of the inability to provide them with appropriate treatment. (Israel) bears full responsibility for the lives of those injured in light of their continued bombing,” the statement said.

Reportedly, there are about 130 Israeli hostages in the Gaza Strip captured by Hamas.

As many as 28,176 Palestinian people have been killed and 67, 784 have been injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza. 


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