Israel hostage families on Wednesday released the footage of seven female Israeli soldiers captured by Hamas during the October 7 attacks. The Hostages Families Forum in Israel released the video hoping it would pressure the government to make serious efforts to bring back the hostages still in Hamas captivity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had so far not agreed to any truce deal with Hamas amid the ongoing Rafah offensive. 

The three-minute video showed the women, Israel Defence Force (IDF) personnel, sitting on the ground bloodied and bruised with their hands tied behind. They were captured from the Nahal Oz base in southern Israel. 

The video, taken by Hamas militants during the attack, was released earlier but was withheld by the government. The video was released to the families by IDF after editing the disturbing parts.

An Israeli government spokesperson told reporters, “These girls are still in the captivity of Hamas. Please don’t look away.” “Watch the film. Support Israel in bringing our people home,” he added. 

However, Hamas has called the release of the video a bid to “manipulate” public opinion. 

In the video, the Hamas fighters were heard shouting and calling them names in Arabic. “I have friends in Palestine,” one of the conscripts, 19-year-old Naama Levy, pleads in English. Another gunman can be heard shouting back in Arabic: “You are dogs! We will step on you, dogs!” reported Reuters. 

The Hostages Families Forum represents around relatives of around 124 people captured by Hamas. After the video was released Netanyahu convened a meeting with senior officials to discuss new terms of negotiations. Hamas had demanded the end of the Gaza war in turn of all the hostages. However, Israel is yet to decide on the new truce terms. 

Around 240 hostages were captured by Hamas during the October 7 attack on Israel. According to authorities, around 30 among them had died. The families forum said that at least 128 people are still held captive. 

Meanwhile, in the wake of Israel’s two-week-old ground offensive in Rafah, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is expected to worsen. Deliveries of aid and fuel to the Palestine enclave had been slow since the offensive. 

A two-day Israeli raid on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday killed at least 12 Palestinians including health authorities, reported AFP. 

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