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Details of the hostage rescue have been revealed, with more than 270 people killed, according to Hamas


The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Authority on Saturday raised casualty estimates from Israel’s hostage rescue operation in central Gaza, as new details emerged of how Israel freed four of its citizens from captivity.

At least 283 people have been killed and 814 injured in Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours, according to Gaza Health Ministry estimates. The vast majority of these casualties – 274 dead and 698 injured – were caused by the Israeli operation in Nuseirat that freed the hostages, the ministry said.

The information could not be independently verified.

The Palestinian side spoke of a “massacre” of civilians in Nuseirat, with gruesome images of bloodied wounded and dead, including children, circulating on social media. At the time of the operation, many people were reportedly traveling to a nearby market.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said the special forces were under fire throughout the operation, which had been long planned. Armed Palestinians had also used bazookas against the troops. One Israeli officer was killed during the operation, it was reported.

Israeli special forces entered the Nuseirat refugee district late in the morning.

Israeli media, citing the updated ages of the hostages, reported that three male hostages between the ages of 22 and 41 were being held in a house there and a 26-year-old woman in another house about 200 meters away. To surprise the hostages’ guards, troops entered the buildings simultaneously at 11:00 am (08:00 GMT).

A rescue vehicle carrying the hostages came under heavy fire and became stuck, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

Hagari said the troops then attacked the “sources of danger” in Nuseirat from the ground, sea and air. The purpose was to enable the rescue team to leave the combat area.

Hagari rejected allegations that the troops entered Nuseirat disguised in humanitarian aid vehicles or through the US-built temporary pier.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) also dismissed these reports circulating on social media.

“The humanitarian pier facility, including its equipment, personnel and resources, was not used today in the operation to rescue hostages in Gaza,” CENTCOM said in a statement released Saturday evening.

“Any statement to the contrary is false,” the statement read.

Earlier on Sunday, Turkey called Israel’s operation to free its hostages a “barbaric attack” and accused Israel of war crimes.

Meanwhile, in Israel, families whose loved ones were killed by Hamas or remain in captivity in Gaza criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for meeting with freed hostages but not with families of other victims.

A leading opposition politician joined the criticism.

“When you are prime minister, you are the prime minister of successes and defeats,” opposition leader Yair Lapid told Israeli channel Kan on Sunday. “To only be prime minister when everything goes well and to disappear when everything doesn’t go the way you want, that’s pathetic.”

Netanyahu met with the four hostages released from the Gaza Strip at a hospital on Saturday – during the Sabbath or Jewish day of rest – and had his picture taken.

However, according to media reports, families of Israelis killed in the October 7 Hamas massacre and relatives of slain hostages were angry that neither Netanyahu nor other government representatives had contacted them.

“A Prime Minister with moral values ​​would have called for comfort and strength. And to apologize for what happened under his watch,” the father of a soldier killed on October 7 wrote on X.

Israeli hostage Almog Meir Jan (C), 22, speaks with family members at the Sheba Tel-HaShomer Medical Center, after his rescue by the Israeli army from captivity in the Gaza Strip. -/IDF spokesperson unit via GPO/dpa

Israeli hostage Andrey Kozlov, 27, speaks with medical staff at the Sheba Tel-HaShomer Medical Center after her rescue by the Israeli army from captivity in the Gaza Strip. -/IDF spokesperson unit via GPO/dpa

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