Hamas releases video of hostages as efforts to broker a ceasefire in Gaza continue

World

Hamas has released a new video that appears to show two hostages who have been held in Gaza since the 7 October assault on southern Israel.

The two men, Keith Siegel, 64, and Omri Miran, 47, speak in the video against an empty background, sending their love to relatives and asking to be released.

The video was released during the Passover holiday, when Jews celebrate the biblical story of gaining freedom from slavery in Egypt.

Sky News has decided not to show the video online.

In the footage, Mr Siegel breaks down in tears as he recalls spending last year’s Passover with his family, saying he hoped they would be reunited.

Mr Miran was taken from his home in Nahal Oz in front of his wife and two daughters, while Siegel, who is a dual US citizen, was abducted with his wife, although she was released during the brief truce in November.

Keith Siegel is being held hostage by Hamas. A video was released of him on 27 April.
Image:
Keith Siegel

Omri Miran is being held hostage by Hamas. A video was released of him on 27 April.
Image:
Omri Miran

Some 250 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage during the 7 October Hamas attack, which killed around 1,200 people.

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It prompted Israel’s assault on Gaza, as it pledged to destroy Hamas and bring the hostages home.

Some 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict so far, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

Also on Saturday, Hamas said it was reviewing a new Israeli ceasefire proposal.

Hamas senior official Khalil al Hayya did not share details of Israel’s offer but said it was in response to a Hamas proposal made two weeks ago.

This included a six-week ceasefire, release of 40 civilian and sick hostages, in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Israel’s foreign minister said on Saturday that the country’s planned incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah could be put on hold if a deal is struck to secure the release of Israeli hostages.

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A man holds a placard as people attend a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and to call for the release of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 27, 2024. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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The hostage situation is putting pressure on Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Pic: Reuters

The prospect of an attack on Rafah has prompted concern from various countries, including Israel’s staunchest ally, the US.

Meanwhile, Egypt also ramped up its efforts to broker a deal that could end the war.

An Egyptian delegation left Israel on Saturday after talks there about a “new vision” for a ceasefire in Gaza.

This would include the release of some hostages and Palestinian prisoners and the return of many displaced Palestinians to their homes in northern Gaza with “minimum restrictions”, according to an Egyptian official.

Hamas still wants a permanent ceasefire and full withdrawal of Israeli troops but Israel has rejected both of these, saying it will continue military operations until Hamas is defeated and it will maintain a security presence in Gaza.

It came as protests continued around the world calling for an end to the conflict, including pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London and at universities across the US.

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