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psychological warfare

Israel rejects Hamas claims in horrific propaganda video as two Israeli hostages feared dead

Hamas video purportedly shows bodies of hostages Itay Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi

Israeli hostages (L-R) Noa Argamani, Yossi Sharabi and Itay Svirsky, in a Hamas propaganda video released on January 14, 2024. (Photo: Screenshot combo)

The Israeli army in recent days informed the families of Itai Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi, who are being held by Hamas as hostages, that there is “grave concern regarding their fate,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari said on Monday.

At the same time, he said Israeli intelligence had received a “sign of life” from Noa Argamani.

Hagari's announcement came on the heels of the latest Hamas propaganda video, the third in a series concerning the fates of Svirsky, Sharabi and Argamani, all of whom were kidnapped into Gaza by terrorists on Oct. 7.

In the video, Hamas claimed that Svirsky and Sharabi were killed in Israeli airstrikes.

“During the last day, Hamas published videos about abductees, while making cruel use of innocent abductees,” Hagari said.

“Itai wasn’t shot by our forces – this is a lie by Hamas. The building where they were held wasn’t a target, and it wasn’t attacked by our forces. We didn’t know their location in real-time, we do not attack in a place where we know there may be hostages,” he added. “In retrospect, we know that we attacked targets close to the location where they were held.”

After the first video, which showed Argamani, Sharabi and Svirsky asking the Israeli government to return them to their homes, Hamas added the message: “Tomorrow (Monday), we will inform you of their fate.”

Hamas then released another message taunting the Israeli public and asking it to guess the condition of the hostages, just before publishing the latest video on Monday evening.

In that video, Argamani read the message: “I was located in a building, it was bombed by an IDF airstrike, an F16 fighter jet. Three rockets were fired. Two of the rockets exploded, and the other didn’t.”

“We were in the building with Al Qassam [Hamas] soldiers and three hostages: Myself, Noa Argamani, Itai Svirsky and Yosef Sharabi. After the building we were in was hit, we were all buried under rubble. Al Qassam soldiers saved my life, and Itai’s; unfortunately, we were not able to save Yossi’s.”

“After many days...two nights, Itai and I were relocated to another place. While we were being transported, Itai was hit by an IDF airstrike. He did not survive.”

The video then cuts to footage showing two lifeless and bloodied bodies, claiming to be Svirsky and Sharabi.

In response, Hagari announced: “We are investigating the event and its circumstances, examining the photos that Hamas distributed, along with additional information at our disposal.” He reiterated that the IDF is in constant contact with the hostages’ families.

“Hamas is trying to take advantage of the fact that Israeli society sanctifies the lives of its people to sow fear. Yes, Israeli society sanctifies the lives of its people, this is our strength – our concern for our citizens and how we are determined to return the hostages.”

He also called on the Israeli public to avoid spreading unverified information and vowed that the army would continue to exert every effort to return the hostages home.

Most Israeli media outlets have so far refused to publish Hamas propaganda materials so as not to take part in the terror group's psychological warfare. Some of the hostages that Hamas previously claimed had died, later turned out to be alive.

Yossi Sharabi was kidnapped from his home on Kibbutz Be’eri, together with his wife Nira and their daughters Yuval, Ofir, and Oren. However, the terrorists decided to release his wife and daughters, only abducting Yossi into Gaza, along with his brother who is also being held hostage.

Svirsky lives in Tel Aviv but was captured while visiting his parents in Be’eri, who were both murdered during the brutal terror attack.

Argamani was kidnapped while she was at the Nova music festival on Kibbutz Re’im.

Her mother, Chinese-born Liora Argamani, has often appeared in public to call for her daughter’s release. Liora is in the advanced stages of cancer and must use a wheelchair. She pleaded for Noa’s release so she could see her again before she dies.

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

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