Three elderly Israeli citizens who are being held captive are featured in a brief video that the armed branch of the Palestinian resistance organization Hamas shared on social media.
On Monday, the Al-Qassam Brigades made the approximately minute-long video available.
Speaking in the film, one man introduces himself as Chaim Peri, 79, who was kidnapped by Hamas from his house on Kibbutz Nir Oz. Amiram Cooper, 84, and Yoram Metzger, 80, two additional inhabitants of Nir Oz, are the other two hostages.
It depicts a man, identified as being 79 years old, complaining that the elderly individuals in his care are all suffering from chronic ailments and are living in appalling conditions.
We are the generation who built the foundation for the creation of Israel. We are the ones who started the IDF military. We do not understand why we have been abandoned here.- Chaim Peri
He goes on, "Release us with no conditions."” As the film comes to a close, the three older men can be heard saying, "Don't let us grow old here."
According to Israeli media, on October 7, the hostages, ages 79 to 84, were taken from the same neighborhood close to the Gaza Strip. According to reports, their spouses who were apprehended with them have since been set go.
The release of a video featuring hostages naturally prompted a swift and strong response from the international community. The incident raises questions about the broader diplomatic implications and potential consequences for relations between Israel, Hamas, and other regional actors.
Families of Israelis taken captive in Gaza by Hamas staged protests outside the Israeli Ministry of Defense headquarters in Tel Aviv following the release of the most recent video, calling for their loved ones' quick release.
The demonstration coincided with mounting indignation in Israel following the Israeli military's admission last week that it killed three Israeli prisoners in Gaza, even though they were raising a white flag.
In the meantime, the Israeli military has increased its shelling of the enclave, killing approximately 19,500 Palestinians since October 7, the majority of them women and children, while diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in Gaza and free captives captured on both sides continue.
Thousands of Palestinians are buried beneath the debris after the besieged enclave in Gaza was completely destroyed by air and ground strikes.
International assistance organizations have issued warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe with widespread starvation and the spread of illnesses if the necessary aid is not permitted to enter the strip.
Israel is allegedly using famine as a weapon of warin Gaza, according to Human Rights Watched.
Hamas posts video of 3 elderly Israeli hostages. The release of this video by Hamas featuring three elderly Israeli hostages adds a layer of complexity to an already tense geopolitical situation.
The incident underscores the need for diplomatic efforts to address the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to work towards a more stable and secure future for the region.