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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Israel to restart Gaza talks after hostage video sparks outrage

Relatives and supporters raise placards bearing messages and portraits of Israeli hostages held in Gaza since the October 7 attacks by Hamas in southern Israel, during a rally calling for their release, outside the PM's office in Jerusalem on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.   (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Omar Tamo and Ethan Bronner Bloomberg News

Israel said it would revive stalled cease-fire talks with Hamas after social media video showing female Israeli soldiers being abducted by the militants on Oct. 7 sparked a public outcry.

The 190-second clip, compiled from footage filmed by the militants on the day of the attack, shows five young women in civilian clothes, some bruised and bloodied, lined up against a wall before being pushed into a jeep.

The women, who Israel confirmed are military personnel, were kidnapped when Hamas invaded Israel and killed 1,200 people. The attack triggered an Israeli military response that’s destroyed much of Gaza and killed more than 35,000 Palestinians.

More than 100 Israeli hostages are still being held in Gaza by Hamas, although it’s unclear how many are still alive. Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union.

In a statement, Hamas said the video showed “deliberate distortions” and dismissed the women’s injuries as “something to be expected.” The statement didn’t address the talks.

Last week, Qatar said the negotiations had reached an impasse after Israel invaded the southern Gazan city of Rafah, where more than 1.4 million Palestinians had sought refuge before being forced to flee again.

The two sides are also at odds over the deployment of Israeli troops in Gaza and the terms of the release of the remaining hostages. Qatar is mediating the talks alongside Egypt and the U.S.