Palestinian militant group Hamas, engaged in a war with Israel in the Gaza Strip, warned Sunday that no hostage would leave the territory alive unless the group’s demands were met.
“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,” Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’s armed wing, said in a televised broadcast, referring to the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
A one-week truce in the war that collapsed on December 1 saw 105 hostages held by the group freed, including 80 Israelis released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.
Israel on Saturday said 137 captives remained in the Palestinian territory.
Mediator Qatar said on Sunday that efforts to secure a new truce and release more hostages were ongoing but warned that the relentless Israeli bombardment was “narrowing the window” for a successful outcome.
Abu Obeida said the group would continue to fight Israeli forces.
“We have no choice but to fight this barbaric occupier in every neighborhood, street and alley,” he said.
“The enemy’s holocaust aims to break the strength of our resistance... but we are fighting on our land in a holy battle.”
The war in Gaza was triggered after Hamas militants carried out a brutal attack on southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.
In Israel’s retaliatory air, land and sea assault against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, at least 17,700 people, most of them also civilians, have been killed, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.