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Israel notified 199 families of civilians taken hostage by Hamas so far

International Red Cross in contact with Hamas, demands to see hostages

Flyers reading "Kidnapped" and showing Israelis taken hostage are posted on a public notice board, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 14, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Israel’s military has so far notified 199 families that their members were taken hostage during the Hamas terror group's brutal assault on Israeli settlements near the Gaza border on Oct. 7.

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari on Monday promised the families that Israel Defense Forces would do everything in its power to return the hostages, among them elderly, women and children.

Hagari also confirmed that the Israeli military has information about locations where hostages are being held.

“We are making valiant efforts to try to understand where the hostages are in Gaza, and we have such information,” Hagari said. “We will not carry out an attack that would endanger our people,” he added.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told the Times of Israel it has demanded that Hamas allow them access to the Israeli and foreign hostages.

“We are speaking with Hamas at the highest levels, face-to-face,” said Sarah Davies of ICRC Israel and the Occupied Territories. “The plight of loved ones being held hostage is one of our top priorities. We are making demands to see them. We are asking that they be able to contact family members.”

“We are calling for immediate access to those taken hostage, so we can check on their well-being and contact their panicked families who are desperate for news,” she said.

French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) put up posters featuring some of the Israelis kidnapped by Hamas to draw attention to their lot, in Paris, France, October 15, 2023. (Photo: Florian Poitout /ABACAPRESS.COM)

Families of the hostages publicly called for the Red Cross to get involved on the issue, and met with its representatives on Friday.

“The ICRC is guided solely by the interests of the victims and the desire to relieve their suffering,” Davies said. “The ICRC stands ready to provide whatever humanitarian assistance is required and to visit anyone deprived of their liberty or held captive, in our role as a neutral intermediary.”

The office of the IDF's Brig.-Gen. Gal Hirsch, the coordinator of the special task force for Israel’s hostages and missing, did not respond to Times of Israel’s inquiries about its contact with the ICRC.

Last week, Hagari confirmed that the IDF conducted localized raids in the Gaza Strip, collecting information about the captives, while neutralizing terrorists in the area, including a group of Hamas terrorists that fired an anti-tank missile at IDF troops.

While Israeli forces did not recover any of the missing persons still alive, they did recover information and several items on the bodies that may help locate other missing persons or those being held captive in Gaza, Hagari explained.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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