June 16, 2024

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Hamas says two Israeli hostages have died, while the Israeli army describes the videos as 'psychological torture' for the families of the prisoners

Hamas says two Israeli hostages have died, while the Israeli army describes the videos as 'psychological torture' for the families of the prisoners

Manu Fernandez/AP

Naama Weinberg shows a photo of her cousin Itai Svirsky during a press conference for Israeli family members held by Hamas on October 26, 2023.



CNN

Israel said on Monday that Hamas was inflicting “psychological torture” after the group released a third video within 24 hours showing the same three hostages being held in Gaza, the last of which appeared to show the killing of two of the hostages.

“Hamas is being hit hard by the Israeli army and all that remains for them is to bring psychological torment to the families [of the hostages]“We left it to the Israeli army to clarify matters for the families later,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant told reporters on Monday.

The first video, released on Sunday, showed clips of the three hostages – Noah Argamani, Itay Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi – speaking into the camera. The comment ended with a comment saying: “Tomorrow we will tell you their fate.”

In a second video, posted on Monday, in an apparent attempt by Hamas to raise fears, he repeated the message that the fate of the three hostages would be announced soon.

The third video, released later on Monday, shows the bodies of two hostages, Svirsky and Sharby. Noa Argamani also appeared saying that the two men were killed in the Israeli bombing.

Forum for hostages and families of missing persons

It appears that Yossi Sharabi (53 years old) appeared dead in the third video published by Hamas.

It is not clear whether Argamani was speaking under duress. The video has also been heavily edited, with sound effects added and some of her lyrics repeated.

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IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari addressed the videos in his briefing on Monday evening, saying that Israeli forces did not bomb Itay Svirsky as the third video claimed. He said that the Israeli army did not bomb the building where the three were being held, as the video also claimed, but it hit a nearby location.

“We do not strike places where we know there may be hostages,” Hajjari said. “In hindsight, we know we hit targets near where they were being held. We are investigating the incident and its circumstances, and examining the photos distributed by Hamas, along with additional information available to us.”

The army spokesman added that representatives of the Israeli army met with the families of the three hostages and informed them of the latest information available to them, adding that the Israeli army “expressed its deep concern” about the fate of two of the prisoners.

CNN is not broadcasting the videos, and it is not immediately possible to verify when and where they were filmed.

note

Noa Argamani was kidnapped from Nova Festival with her boyfriend on October 7.

Hamas and other groups took about 240 hostages to Gaza on October 7. More than 100 Israeli and foreign hostages were released during a week-long truce in late November, with Palestinians held in Israeli prisons being released in exchange for the release of Israelis.

Israel believes 132 hostages remain in Gaza, and about 107 of them are believed to be still alive.

Argamani, 26, who was seen speaking in two of the videos, was kidnapped from the Nova Festival with her boyfriend, Avinatan Or. Argamani was seen in a video published by Hamas at the time, being dragged on a motorcycle.

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Her mother, Leora, has stage 4 and I brain cancerIn the video I recorded at the end of last year, She pleaded for her daughter's safe return, saying: “Noah, I want to tell you that if I don't see you, please know that I love you very much.”

Svirsky was kidnapped while visiting his family on Kibbutz Be'eri from his home in Tel Aviv. The 38-year-old Israeli-German citizen was at the home of his mother, Orit Svirsky, a committed peace activist.

Orit was shot dead in front of his eyes, and it later emerged that her ex-husband Rafi – Svirsky's father – was also killed along with his three dogs. Svirsky's maternal grandmother, Aviva Sela, 97, survived the attack, but her Filipina caretaker, Grace Cabrera, 45, was killed.

His family told CNN that Svirsky has a degree in psychology and economics and recently began working as a life coach. According to his family, one of the hostages released in November called his sister to tell her he was alive after saving her phone number. This was the last “evidence of life” for the family.

This story has been updated to reflect that the Israeli military has named the third hostage shown in the videos, Yossi Sharabi.

CNN's Amir Tal and Ivana Kutasova contributed to this report.