The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says it will never buckle under the pressure of incessant Israeli attacks on Gaza to release Israeli captives it took in an operation in early October.
Spokesman of Hamas’s military unit, who is known by his nom de guerre Abu Obeida, said on Sunday that the only way for the group to release Israeli captives alive is for the Israelis and their supporters to accept its conditions, including the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
“Neither the fascist enemy and its arrogant leadership… nor its supporters… can take their prisoners alive without an exchange and negotiation and meeting the demands of the resistance,” said Abu Obeida.
Hamas exchanged 80 Israeli captives for 240 Palestinian prisoners during a pause in the Gaza war that ended on December 1. The truce, which was meditated by Qatar and other countries, also allowed the delivery of badly-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza after weeks of Israeli attacks on the territory.
Israeli sources say Hamas still holds 137 captives from the operation it carried out on October 7 in the occupied territories, during which some 1,200 Israeli settlers and military forces were also killed.
Qatar on Sunday warned that the relentless Israeli bombardment and assaults on Gaza may jeopardize the ongoing negotiations for a new ceasefire in Gaza.
Abu Obeida said Hamas will continue to fight Israel regardless of the intensity of the regime’s attacks on Gaza which he said is meant to “break the strength of our resistance.”
“We have no choice but to fight this barbaric occupier in every neighborhood, street and alley,” he said.
Around 18,000 people have been killed in Gaza in 63 days of Israeli onslaught in Gaza, according to figures provided by Hamas health authorities.