Palestinian 'journalist' was holding Israeli hostages captive in Gaza, IDF confirms

Four Israeli hostages were rescued from where they were being held in civilian homes in a daring operation on Saturday morning.

Palestinian 'journalist'' was holding Israeli hostages captive in Gaza, IDF confirms
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The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) confirmed on Sunday that a "journalist" employed by an American non-profit was a Hamas operative who was holding Israeli civilians hostage in Gaza. 

Following the incredible rescue of four Israeli hostages from the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning, information has been trickling out regarding the circumstances under which they were held.

A thread on X by the analyst and writer Eitan Fischberger had previously questioned whether the journalist Abdullah al-Jamal, who worked for an American 501(c)(3) organization, was one of the Palestinians involved in holding captives. 

Al-Jamal was killed by Israeli military forces in the Saturday operation to retrieve the hostages Noa Argamani, Shlomi Ziv, Almog Meir Jan, and Andrey Kozlov. All four were taken captive from the attack on the Nova music festival in southern Israel on October 7 and were being held in civilian homes in the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza. 

Al-Jamal was employed by The Palestine Chronicle, an American non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to educate the general public by providing a forum that strives to highlight issues of relevance to human rights." Fischberger's reporting also found that al-Jamal was previously the spokesperson for the Hamas-run Ministry of Labour in Gaza. 

Al-Jamal was found to have celebrated the October 7th attacks, writing on Facebook, "Praise be to God, thank you very much, good and blessed."

Ramy Abdu, chairman of Euro-Med Monitor, reported on the "executions" of members of the al-Jamal family as Israeli special forces stormed the home to retrieve the hostages. Abdu did not respond to tweets asking why the family had participated in holding hostages captive.

The IDF confirmed that al-Jamal and his family had been holding the three male hostages in their home. "This is further evidence of the deliberate use of civilian homes and buildings by the Hamas terrorist organization to hold Israeli hostages captive in the Gaza Strip," the army said. 

Estimates of the total number of casualties resulting from the hostage rescue operation have varied. IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said there were less than 100 Palestinians killed, while Hamas says 274 people died. On the Israeli side, captain Arnon Zmora was injured during the operation and later died of his wounds. The operation was renamed to "Operation Arnon" in the officer's honour. 

116 Israeli hostages remain in Gaza after 251 were taken captive on October 7. The majority were released in a series of hostage for prisoner swaps that took place earlier in the war. In recent days, the Biden administration has been pushing both Israel and Hamas to accept an American proposal for an end to the war and release of all hostages, but it appears unlikely that Hamas will do so.

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