Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has talked to leader of Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad (PIJ) after the latest developments, state media in Iran reports.
Details of Ebrahim Raisi’s conversations with the two men were not disclosed, BBC reported.
Hamas is backed by Iran, which funds it and provides weapons and training, BBC reported.
Up to 100 Israeli hostages, including women and children, may have been taken into Gaza by Hamas, hugely complicating any Israeli military operation to free them, The Guardian reported.
Amid shocking images of terrified Israeli soldiers and civilians — some bloodied, others hooded and with their hands tied — being marched away by Hamas militants, the whereabouts and fate of the captives has become one of the most pressing issues for military planners.
While spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt Col Jonathan Conricus has said only that a “significant number” of Israeli civilians and soldiers are being held hostage, that number is believed to be in the dozens, with some Israeli news outlets speculating that up to 100 have been taken hostage.
According to reports, while most hostages were taken by Palestinian armed factions, some Palestinian civilians who also entered Israel may have taken captives too.
Among those reported as missing is Jake Marlowe — a British citizen who was attending a music festival in the south of Israel. His family has been unable to reach him since Hamas infiltrators attacked the event, The Guardian reported.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, International Spokesperson of the Israel Defense Forces, said some hostages were alive while others were presumed dead, in line with the practice of Gaza’s militant factions of taking human remains to exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. –IANS