Hamas leaders mentioned Friday they’d determined to free the mom and daughter for “humanitarian causes.” On Saturday, Hamas Politburo member Khalil al-Hayya shared extra of the group’s ideas at an unmarked villa in Doha.
He argued that members of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, who carried out the October 7 assault had been instructed to not hurt or seize civilians. However after the fighters breached Israel’s metallic barrier with Gaza, he mentioned, members of different armed teams and different Gaza residents poured in behind them.
It was these folks, Mr. al-Hayya insisted, who had massacred Israeli civilians and kidnapped dozens of civilians, then dragged them via the damaged fence again into Gaza.
“Our drawback is with the troopers, the army folks,” he mentioned.
Nevertheless, intensive footage of the assault clearly refute his claims. Movies present Hamas gunmen capturing and killing unarmed civilians on the streets, in neighborhoods and at an out of doors music pageant. Paperwork discovered on useless Hamas attackers additionally contained directions to take civilians hostage, Israeli officers mentioned.
Mr al-Hayya mentioned that earlier than Hamas releases any extra hostages, Israeli bombing of Gaza should cease. He additionally mentioned that different militant teams in Gaza had been holding some hostages and that Hamas wants time “to look into the houses, into the households, into the factions and produce them collectively.”
All through this disaster, US officers have remained in shut contact with the Qataris, who’re in shut contact with Hamas. White Home officers known as them. Mr. Blinken spent a number of hours in Qatar on Oct. 13, throughout his seven-nation tour of the Center East, discussing the hostages with the emir, Sheikh Tamim ibn Hamad Al Thani, and the prime minister, Mohammed bin. Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.
The Qatari officers advised Mr. Blinken about concrete steps the People may take to free hostages, a U.S. official mentioned. Earlier than flying to Bahrain, Mr. Blinken stood subsequent to the prime minister and advised reporters that the 2 international locations had been “working intensively collectively” on the hostages and that he was “grateful for the urgency that Qatar attaches to this effort.”
A regional official with information of the negotiations mentioned Hamas had agreed in precept to free all civilian hostages if Israel ceased its assaults on Gaza. Mr al-Hayya endorsed that concept in his interview. But it’s unclear precisely when and below what circumstances Hamas would conform to their launch.