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Hamas releases two more hostages as British daughter flies to Israel | World News


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Hamas has released two more hostages, with the British daughter of one of the women flying to Israel and saying she’s relieved beyond words.

Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, and Nurit Cooper, 79, were taken to the Rafah crossing into Egypt and put into ambulances.

Hamas said it released them on humanitarian and “poor health grounds”, but their husbands are still being held prisoner.

Israel-Gaza war – latest updates

The group released images of masked gunmen giving the women food and drink and leading them to the handover point, where Red Cross workers met them.

More than 200 people were kidnapped during the Hamas attack but only four have been freed – the other two being a US mother and daughter last week.

Sharone Lifschitz, who lives in London, confirmed her mother was released on Monday evening and is flying out to meet her.

“While I cannot put into words the relief that she is now safe, I will remain focused on securing the release of my father and all those, some 200 innocent people, who remain hostages in Gaza,” she said.

This image released by Al Qassam brigades (Hamas's military wing) on its Telegram channel, shows Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, center, and Nurit Cooper, 79, being escorted by Hamas as they are released to the Red Cross in an unknown location Pic: AP
Hamas released this image – Mrs Lifshitz is centre and Mrs Cooper on the right. Pic: AP

The two women and their husbands – aged 83 and 84 – were snatched from their homes in Nir Oz, near the Gaza border, as Hamas began its massacre.

Ms Lifschitz told Times Radio her parents had complex health needs and that her father, Oded, had high blood pressure the night before the attack.

The grandson of Yocheved Lifshitz said his grandparents had spent years helping sick Gazans.

“They are human rights activists, peace activists for all their life,” said Daniel Lifshitz.

“For more than a decade, they took… sick Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, not from the West Bank, from the Gaza Strip every week from the Erez border to the hospitals in Israel to get treatment for their disease, for cancer, for anything.”

Yocheved Lifshitz, left, and Nurit Cooper. Pic: AP
Yocheved Lifshitz, left, and Nurit Cooper. Pic: AP

With many hostages still held prisoner, the US is understood to have asked Israel to delay its ground invasion so more can be freed.

A senior Hamas leader told Sky News all civilians among the hostages would be released if Israel reduced the intensity of bombing Gaza.

“We want to stop the random bombardments, the total destruction, the genocide so that the al Qassam soldiers can take them from their places and hand them to the Red Cross or whoever,” said Khaled Meshaal.

“We need the right conditions to allow them to be released.”

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Senior Hamas leader speaks to Sky

Israeli tanks and thousands of troops have been waiting for days for the order to attack – a moved that’s likely to significantly increase casualties on both sides.

Defence minister Yoav Gallant told troops on Monday “it will come” and to keep preparing.

He said the attack would be from land, air and sea but gave no timeframe.

More than 5,000 Palestinians have now been killed and 15,000 wounded in Israeli airstrikes, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

On Monday, it said more more than 400 had died in just the last 24 hours.

Hospitals are at breaking point, with vital supplies like anaesthetic running out and fears electricity generators could run out and halt lifesaving equipment like baby incubators.

A young Palestinian wounded waits for treatment on the floor of Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Pic: AP
A young Palestinian wounded waits for treatment on the floor of Shifa Hospital. Pic: AP

Israeli strikes have ramped up in recent days ahead of the expected ground attack
Israeli strikes have ramped up in recent days ahead of the expected ground attack

Israel insists it takes great care not to injure civilians and that its only aim is to destroy Hamas – which runs the Gaza Strip.

Israel has urged people to move from northern Gaza but hundreds of thousands remain.

The aerial bombardment and blockade has also caused food and water to run perilously low in the densely-packed territory of 2.3 million.

On Monday, a third aid convoy of 20 trucks was able to enter from Egypt but aid agencies have warned it’s a fraction of what’s needed.

Despite the worsening humanitarian situation, President Biden said talk of a ceasefire-for-hostage deal was premature.

“We should have those hostages released and then we can talk,” he told reporters on Monday.

The UN Security Council is, however, expected to vote on a resolution today calling for “humanitarian pauses” in order to allow aid into Gaza.

There has been a slew of diplomatic visits to Israel in recent days as fears grow that the war could spread.

The latest to visit and meet Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday will be France’s President Macron, following the Dutch leader’s visit on Monday.

Read more:
Israelis in ‘limbo’ as invasion wait goes on – Stuart Ramsay
Further recovered material reveals attack plan, says IDF

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Footage appears to show Hamas shooting

The 7 October terror attack – described by some as Israel’s 9/11 – saw more than 1,400 people murdered in their homes, on the streets and at a music festival.

Graphic bodycam, phone and CCTV were played to journalists yesterday, one showed a Hamas militant throwing a hand grenade at a man trying to escape with his two young sons.

The father is killed while the boys are left injured and bleeding, one asking: “Daddy is dead… Why am I alive?… I want my mum.”

Another shows Hamas breaking into communities, moving to different houses, killing residents and even pets – while a dashcam clip appears to show fighters shooting and killing civilians on the road.

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Written by: radioroxi

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