State Department: Hamas Broke Cease-fire, Refusing To Release Remaining Female Hostages for Fear of What They May Tell the Public

‘They don’t want the women to be able to talk about what happened to them during their time in custody,’ says a State Department official.

AP/Petros Giannakouris
An Israeli woman cries during a rally calling for the return of more than 200 hostages held by Hamas terrorists, at Tel Aviv, October 23, 2023. AP/Petros Giannakouris

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department says that Hamas’ claim that it has released all non-combatant women as well as children in its custody is untrue and that the terrorist group at Gaza is refusing to release them for fear of what they may tell the Israeli government and public about their time in captivity. 

“They continue to hold women hostages. They continue to hold children hostages,” spokesman Matthew Miller said during a press briefing Monday. “The reason they don’t want to turn women over they’ve been holding hostages, the reason this pause fell apart, is that they don’t want the women to be able to talk about what happened to them during their time in custody.”

An estimated 122 Israeli and foreign hostages remain in Gaza. An additional 15 were killed in captivity with their bodies remaining in the hands of the Palestinian terror group. Eight Americans remain in captivity, White House National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, told ABC on Sunday. 

The only children known to be remaining hostage are Kfir Bibas, who was nine months old when abducted, and his four-year-old brother, Ariel. Hamas has alleged the two children along with their mother were killed in an Israeli airstrike. 

The majority of the  women and children taken by Hamas were released last week in a series of exchanges. Among the 81 captives released were two Americans — four-year-old Abigail Edan and 49-year-old Liat Beinin Atzili. 

As the Sun previously reported, the released hostages have elaborated on the deteriorating conditions for captives in Gaza. The aunt of one 12-year-old hostage freed, Eitan Yahalomi, said that “Every time a child cried, they threatened him with a gun to keep him quiet,” Ms. Cohen said. She added that when the group of hostages arrived at Gaza, “all the civilians, everyone hit him.”

Mr. Miller’s comments align with the public relations efforts Hamas has been undertaking with the Israeli hostages. As the Israeli hostages were being turned over by the Palestinian terror group to the Red Cross, the captors were recorded demanding that hostages “Keep waving” for the cameras filming them. 

According to a pro-Israel activist, Hen Mazzig, on X, formerly Twitter, “Israeli social workers who attend to the released hostages share that Hamas threatened them, saying ‘We know where you live, where your family works. If you tell anyone what happened in captivity we will get to you.’”

The militant faction with an eye for their public image also released a thank-you letter purported to be from one the hostages, Danielle Aloni. Hamas alleges the letter from Ms. Aloni thanks the terror group for the hospitality shown towards her eight-year-old daughter, Emilia Aloni, who was also kidnapped by the group.

“I sincerely thank you from the depths of my heart for your extraordinary humanity shown towards my daughter Emilia,” read a potion of the letter, released by Hamas along with a picture of Ms. Emilia Aloni waving. 

Many, however, suspected the letter to be a fake. Ms. Aloni later stated during an interview with Israeli news channel, Kann News, that “Our girls saw things that no one should see. It’s a horror movie. There was no agenda — they sleep, cry and every other day that passes is an eternity. People can die because they just decided to murder them.”

The New York Sun

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