Following the tragic attack that took place on October 7, the Israeli military has revealed that Hamas is holding 155 individuals as hostage in their territory.
An Israeli journalist who was seized from his house in kibbutz Nir Oz along with his spouse, who was 85 years old and had campaigned for decades for peace and the acknowledgment of Palestinian rights, is one of the hostages. This journalist, who is 83 years old, is one of the hostages.
In 1972, he was one of the leaders in the defense of the Bedouin people of the Rafah valley who had been expelled by the occupation authorities in Sinai. He had written for the left-leaning journal Al Hamishmar for a number of years during that time.
In addition to this, he was one of the first journalists to arrive in Sabra and Shatila, which are both located in Lebanon, and he reported on the massacre that took place in the Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut in September of 1982. In recent years, he volunteered his time to an organization that helps Palestinian patients receive treatment that could save their lives in Israeli hospitals.
Other captives may have been kidnapped from their houses in Israeli border settlements that were overtaken by Palestinian gunmen, or they may have been abducted from a forested area close to the border where they had spent the night attending a music festival. It is most likely that these hostages were taken from any of these locations.
Eight Germans, five Americans, two Mexicans, and a large number of Israelis are reported to be among those being held as hostages.
Shani Louk’s mother told the news source Der Spiegel that she had recognized her daughter in online footage showing a woman laying seemingly comatose face down in the back of a pickup truck in Gaza filled with armed men. Shani Louk is 22 years old.
Abbey Onn, a native of the United States who has lived in Tel Aviv for the past eight years, informed media earlier this week that five members of her family were being held as hostages.
Nir Oz was a kibbutz in southern Israel that was under attack by rocket fire. Ofer Kalderon, age 50, Sahar Kalderon, age 16, Noya Dan, age 13, Erez Kalderon, age 12, and Carmela Dan, age 80, all lived there.
An Israeli organization called Voices for Hostages was established following the strike, and it has issued a request for further information regarding a girl named Sahar Erez. The organization claims that Sahar was in Gaza with her father, grandmother, brother, and a cousin who has special needs.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack carried out by Hamas, members of the families of those who were missing made individual appeals via television, radio, and social media, and they also phoned every conceivable contact in an effort to obtain information about the whereabouts of their loved ones.
Gal Hirsch has been designated by Israel as the point of contact for the families, however the head of national security council, who is Tzachi Hanegbi, has stated that “We are not negotiating with an enemy that we have promised to eradicate from the surface of the earth.”
Ursula von der Leyen, head of European Commission, voiced her concerns on approximately 1,000 EU people who are now held captive in Gaza while she was in Israel two days ago. Among the 126 hostages, some of them are dual nationals or EU citizens, and Ms. von der Leyen said that she was concerned for their safety. Some of the EU citizens working in Gaza are employed by NGOs and government bodies.
Although there was some debate in Brussels about a coordinated response, the numbers of Europeans who were taken hostage have not been made public. Furthermore, while there was some conversation in Brussels about a coordinated response, experience has shown that each country would use whatever influence it has in order to secure the release of its own nationals.
Hamas has asserted that Israeli bombings killed 22 hostages, but has not provided any proof to support this claim. It has issued a warning that it will execute captives in retaliation for unannounced Israeli strikes on civilian sites, and it intends to carry out the threat.