January 15, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Airs Videos of Hostages, Claims Two Are Dead

January 15, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Airs Videos of Hostages, Claims Two Are Dead

Latest Developments

Hamas released an undated video on January 15, in which Israeli hostage Noa Argamani states that two other hostages died as a result of Israeli airstrikes. Israel has not confirmed their deaths. Israeli officials have cautioned that Hamas engages in psychological warfare designed to sap support for the war.

On January 14, Hamas aired a teaser video about three Israeli hostages and hinted they may have been killed in captivity. The undated, 37-second video showed captives Argamani, Yossi Sharabi, and Itai Svirsky, and ended by warning viewers, “Tomorrow, we will inform you of their fate.” The video called on the Israeli government to stop its Gaza Strip offensive to bring about the hostages’ release. The release coincides with marathon public memorial and solidarity events across Israel marking the 100th day of war.

Earlier on January 14, Hamas said it had lost contact with some of the hostages, likely hoping to leave the impression that the IDF offensive in Gaza may have killed the hostages. Israeli officials have cautioned that such accounts are psychological warfare designed to sap support for the war. Of the 240 people seized by Palestinian terrorists during the October 7 massacre that triggered the Israeli offensive, more than 130 remain in Gaza. Israel says 25 are dead — many murdered by their captors.

Expert Analysis

“Prime Minister Netanyahu revealed in the Knesset last month that he had asked Chinese President Xi Jinping for help in freeing Noa Argamani, whose mother is Chinese and dying of brain cancer. Now that Hamas has published a sign of life of her 26-year-old daughter, while hinting that her life is in danger, surely Beijing can finally exercise some of its clout over the Palestinian group that it insists on supporting.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD Chief Executive

“Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups have consistently sought to sway the Israeli public’s opinion during the war by distributing images and videos of hostages held in the Gaza Strip. It is important to approach the propaganda videos with caution, as publications have contained outright lies and hyperbole.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Netanyahu Recounts Pleas of Hostage’s Mother

On December 25, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a special session of the Knesset focused on the hostages, in which he said, “I told the [Chinese] ambassador that I was asking him to please tell Xi Jinping, outside of protocol, outside the rules, which I know very well, that this is the daughter of a Chinese mother and that I am asking for his personal intervention with regard to Noa Argamani.” Netanyahu continued, “Her mother is begging not only for Noa’s life, but also for her own life, as she has advanced-stage cancer. She told me what she said many times: ‘I only ask to see my Noa once more in the time I have left.’ The ambassador got back to me and said that this request had reached the president of China.”

Argamani, a student at Ben Gurion University, was filmed begging for her life while being dragged away by Hamas’s captors on October 7. Argamani’s mother Liora pled for her life in a video posted online in November.

100 Days After Brutal Attack, Israel Continues Maximum Pressure Campaign To Free Hostages,” FDD Flash Brief

Qatar Accedes to Medicine Delivery for Hostages Held by Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

Israeli Forces Locate Tunnel Where Hostages Were Held in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief


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