Among the captives is an 83-year-old veteran Israeli journalist, known for his commitment to peace and advocating for Palestinian rights, who was abducted from his home in the Nir Oz kibbutz. The unidentified journalist wrote for the left-wing newspaper Al HaMishmar and was also instrumental in defending the Arab Bedouin residents of the Rafah basin during their expulsion from Sinai in 1972.
Moreover, he was one of the first reporters to arrive at Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon in 1982, to cover the tragic massacre that happened in Palestinian refugee camps. The journalist volunteered for a group that transported Palestinian patients to Israeli hospitals for treatment.
The German government has also confirmed that eight Germans have been taken hostage in Gaza, including 22-year-old Shani Louk, who was recognized by her mother in an online video lying unconscious and barely clothed in the back of a pickup truck filled with armed men. (Related: State Department: At least 22 American citizens KILLED (so far) in Israel-Hamas conflict.)
Meanwhile, Israeli-American Abbey Onn, who had recently moved to Tel Aviv, reported that five family members of the Dan-Kalderon family, namely Carmela Dan, Ofer Kalderon, Sahar Kalderon, Erez Kalderon and Noya Dan, had been taken hostage in the kibbutz of Nir Oz, which was targeted by rocket fire. The family is believed to still be alive somewhere in Gaza.
Aside from the eight Germans and five U.S. nationals taken as Hamas hostages, there were also two Mexican nationals, a handful of hostages with other nationalities and the rest being Israeli.
Voices for Hostages, an organization established in Israel after the Hamas attack, appealed for more information about the Dan-Kalderon family. Desperate family members of other missing hostages also tirelessly reach out on television, radio, social media and personal contacts seeking any information about their loved ones.
Hamas used the hostages to threaten Israel. Abu Ubaida, a Hamas spokesperson, announced on Oct. 9 that each Israeli strike on a Palestinian home without prior warning could be equal to the life of one Israeli hostage.
After the Hamas attack, Israel mobilized around 300,000 reservists and imposed a total blockade on the Gaza Strip. Several reports and eyewitnesses even saw Israeli fighter jets, artillery and drones targeting residential apartment blocks, hospitals, schools and even a mosque.
As the death toll continues to rise, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced a complete blockade on 2.3 million people in Gaza. "No electricity, no food, no water, no gas – it's all closed."
Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch, condemned the actions of both sides and labeled them as war crimes.
"Depriving the population in an occupied territory of food and electricity is collective punishment, which is a war crime, as is using starvation as a weapon of war. The International Criminal Court should take note of this call to commit a war crime." She then added: "All hostages should be safely released to their families."
Similarly, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a joint call for an immediate end to violence and the protection of civilians. Erdogan urged Israel to avoid "indiscriminately" attacking civilians and gently criticized Hamas. He urged both sides to respect the "ethics" of war.
However, the escalation in violence created more conflict as Lebanese armed group Hezbollah fired rockets into northern Israel after at least three of its members were killed by Israeli shelling in Lebanon. Israel, in return, reported the loss of one of its deputy commanders in an earlier cross-border raid from Lebanon.
Visit Terrorism.news for more updates on the ongoing conflict between the Hamas militant group and Israel.
Watch this video discussing the surprising large-scale attack of the Hamas militant group on Israel.
This video is from The Prisoner channel on Brighteon.com.