The IOF launched an attack on the occupied West Bank on Saturday night, killing at least five Palestinians.
Hamas informed Qatar that it was ready to release two additional female captives “for humanitarian reasons” but the move was rejected Israel, the spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades revealed on Saturday.
“We informed Qatar that we would release two other female prisoners for compelling humanitarian reasons without anything in return, but the occupation refused to receive them,” Abu Obeida, the Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman, said in a statement.
On Friday, Qatar managed to secure the release of two American captives, a mother and a daughter, from Hamas. The Palestinian resistance group said it released the women, Judith Raanan and Natalie Raanan, on “humanitarian grounds” and in response to Qatar’s mediation.
In his latest statement, Abu Obeida said he is ready to release the two additional women captives under “the same procedures”, though he did not elaborate on the matter.
“We are ready to release the two female detainees tomorrow [Sunday] with the same procedures we used to release the two American female detainees on Friday,” Abu Obeida added.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied that the offer was proposed.
“The statement from the office of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was short and terse and said the following: ‘We will not respond to mendacious propaganda by Hamas we will continue to do everything necessary to bring all the captives and missing back home,” Al Jazeera correspondent Mohammed Jamjoon said from occupied East Jerusalem.
Israel declared war on the Strip on 7 October in response to ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’, an unprecedented attack on Israel carried out by the Al-Qassam Brigades—Hamas’ armed wing.
The historic operation saw the Palestinian resistance group break out from the besieged Gaza Strip and into occupied areas through air, land and sea attacks.
The resistance group captured at least 200 Israelis, including members of the occupation forces, and a number of western citizens.
Reports last week said the US immediately reached out to Qatar, the host of a Hamas political bureau, in order to secure the release of the captives in the aftermath of the attack.
Israel has also used the captives issue and the Palestinian resistance operation as its pretext for its deadly war on Gaza. Within 15 days, the Israeli occupation forces have killed at least 4,385 Palestinians, including at least 1,756 children.
The IOF has also killed more than 10 Israeli captives being held in Gaza through its relentless bombing campaign.
“The Israelis are evasive, and this initiative shows that they are not interested in the return of the prisoners,” an official from Hamas’ prisoner file told Al Jazeera.
The Hamas official added that Netanyahu “kills prisoners held by the resistance and does not want to return them safely.”
Netanyahu has been under pressure from Israelis to ensure the return of the captives as his government threatens to “deepen” its strikes on Gaza in preparation for its ground invasion.
West Bank under attack
The IOF launched an attack on the occupied West Bank on Saturday night, killing at least five Palestinians. The occupation targeted the Jenin refugee camp, including a mosque linked to the Jenin Brigade—one of the largest Palestinian resistance groups in the West Bank.
Israel has been targeting the West Bank since last year amid a rise in armed Palestinian resistance from the youth. In August 2022, the IOF killed Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, the commander of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Unconfirmed reports on the latest attacks on the West Bank said an IOF member called on residents to hand in their “youngsters” to the police by 7 am, Al Jazeera reported.
The IOF also detained at least 55 Palestinians on Sunday overnight as part of its wider detainment campaign.
Palestine’s Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association said on Thursday that more than 850 Palestinians have been detained since the beginning of the Israeli aggression on Gaza.
Some of the detainees include released prisoners, children, women, journalists who were detained by the IOF either during random home raids and searches.
Palestinian prisoners have also been subjected to “retaliatory measures” by Israel.
“There were raids on several prisons and attacks on prisoners. Some prisoners were transferred and isolated. The Damoun prison, where female prisoners are held, was also raided, and the representative of the female prisoners, Marah Bakir, was isolated in Jalameh Prison,” Addameer said on Thursday.
There are at least 1,264 administrative detainees and 170 child prisoners behind Israeli bars, per figures shared by Addameer.