Videos verified by The Times showed what appeared to be a projectile flying into the courtyard of Al-Shifa Hospital and striking an area where displaced Gazans were resting overnight.
Israeli troops were closing in on hospitals in Gaza City on Friday, an Israeli official said, as its battles with Hamas engulfed more of the city and raised fears that vulnerable patients and sheltering civilians with nowhere to flee could be harmed by Israeli strikes and running street battles.
“We’re aware of the sensitivity of the hospitals. That’s why we’re slowly closing in on them,” the Israeli military spokesman, Richard Hecht, told reporters on Friday night.
He said that Israeli forces generally do not fire on hospitals, but added,“if we see Hamas terrorists firing from hospitals, we’ll do what we need to do.” He also said that Israeli troops were “closing in” on Hamas in northern Gaza.
Tanks had surrounded two adjacent hospitals in the city, according to Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman for the health ministry of Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas. He said that scores of patients and displaced Gazans were trapped inside them. The situation could not be immediately confirmed, though the Israeli military has made clear that its troops are fighting in the heart of Gaza City.
Israel has ordered hospitals in northern Gaza to evacuate along with residents in the area, and has maintained that Hamas hides military operations within hospitals, and in tunnels underneath them, using civilians as human shields. Israel has struck sites including apartment buildings, mosques and markets, calling them legitimate targets used by Hamas’s military wing.
At least one projectile struck inside the complex of Al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, early Friday, though the source and extent of the damage were not immediately clear.The Israeli military said that the projectile that hit the hospital complex was fired by Palestinian militants at Israeli troops. Mohammed Abu Salmiya, the director of the hospital, said the hospital compound was struck four times on Friday, blaming Israel for the strikes.
Videos verified by The New York Times showed what appeared to be a projectile flying into the hospital’s courtyard and striking an area where displaced Gazans were resting overnight. The screams of people could be immediately heard. One man was filmed lying on the ground in pain, with his leg apparently mangled. Dr. Abu Salmiya said that four strikes had landed in various parts of the hospital complex, including the maternity building and the outpatient clinic, killing seven people on Friday.
He said that operation rooms and intensive care units were at full capacity and that frustrated doctors and nurses had been forced to leave dozens of seriously wounded people.
“If conditions were better than this, we could have saved their lives,” Dr. Abu Salmiya said. From the hospital, he said, armed clashes and powerful explosions could be heard.
Hospitals have been caught in the crossfire in the war, and strikes have damaged medical centers and clinics across the coastal enclave. Many displaced Gazans flooded into hospitals and schools, hoping for safety from the relentless, devastating bombing.
Injured people receiving medical care at the emergency ward of Al-Shifa Hospital following an Israeli strike, in Gaza City on Sunday.Credit…Bashar Taleb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Doctors at Al-Shifa have faced dire conditions, treating a growing number of patients even as medical supplies and fuel needed to power generators have dwindled.
“At this point, there’s just so little we can do for the wounded we receive, only the bare minimum,” said Dr. Abu Salmiya. “There are people who need complex operations, but we can’t provide them, because we simply don’t have the capacity or the medication.”
The Israeli military has repeatedly singled out Al-Shifa in statements in recent weeks, saying that the hospital gives cover to a Hamas military compound. The Israeli military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, told reporters last month that Hamas “does its command and control in different departments of the hospital.”
Hamas officials and Al Shifa administrators have denied the accusations. Dr. Abu Salmiya said international organizations were welcome to investigate the site and see if they could find any evidence of Hamas’s presence there.
Israel strucka Palestinian ambulance convoy just outside Al-Shifa last week.Credit…Mohammed Al-Masri/Reuters
Inside Al-Shifa itself, staff members were preparing for the worst, including a potential Israeli ground raid into the hospital, Dr. Abu Salmiya said. They have no immediate plans to totally evacuate the complex, he added.
“We will stay with our patients,” he said.
During a trip to New Delhi, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said that “far too many Palestinians have been killed” in Gaza.CreditCredit…Pool photo by Jonathan Ernst
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Friday that “far too many Palestinians have been killed” in Gaza, in the latest indication that the Biden administration is growing increasingly concerned about the civilian death toll under Israel’s bombardment and ground invasion.
“Much more needs to be done to protect civilians and to make sure that humanitarian assistance reaches them,” Mr. Blinken told reporters in New Delhi after a diplomatic tour through Middle Eastern and Asian nations. “Far too many Palestinians have been killed. Far too many have suffered these past weeks. And we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them.”
He added that United States officials would continue to discuss “concrete steps” with Israel to recover at least 240 hostages held by Palestinian militants and get humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, which Hamas controls.
Mr. Blinken’s remarks also suggested that the Biden administration is stepping up pressure on Israel to do more to limit the harm to civilians in its campaign against Hamas, as outrage grows from the United Nations and many countries over the mounting toll in Gaza. The United States has staunchly supported Israel since Hamas attacked it on Oct. 7, killing about 1,400 people, according to Israeli officials, but it has also urged Israeli leaders to exercise restraint in their campaign.
President Biden cast doubt last month on the casualty figures released by the Gazan health ministry, which said this week that more than 10,000 people had been killed. But U.S. officials have acknowledged in recent days that thousands of civilians have been killed since Israel began its retaliatory campaign for the Hamas attack.
Asked about Palestinian civilians, American officials have emphasized that they do not have the ability to verify any toll, and said that Hamas uses civilians as human shields.
They have, though, made broad assessments. On Tuesday, the U.S. national security spokesman, John Kirby, told reporters, “There have been many thousands killed, and each one is a tragedy.” On Wednesday, Barbara Leaf, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, told a House committee that U.S. officials thought the civilian casualties were “very high, frankly, and it could be that they’re even higher than are being cited.”
And the Biden administration has been pushing Israel to commit to humanitarian pauses so that more Palestinian civilians could flee to southern Gaza from the north, where Israel has concentrated its ground operation against Hamas. After days of pressure from U.S. officials, Israel agreed to daily four-hour pauses in some areas of northern Gaza, the White House announced on Thursday.
Mr. Kirby said the pauses would facilitate the delivery of humanitarian supplies and possibly help the release of some of the hostages held by Hamas.
American officials have also spoken about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, echoing the warnings of United Nations officials and aid workers that more than a million people have been displaced from their homes. The United Nations has called for a cease-fire, which U.S. and Israeli officials have resisted, arguing that it would give Hamas time to regroup.
The U.N. aid office said on Friday that it could no longer deliver aid to several hundred thousand Palestinians in northern Gaza, where Israel has warned people to flee and where its troops are conducting a ground operation.
“If there is a hell on earth, it’s northern Gaza,” the aid office’s spokesman, Jens Laerke, told reporters on Friday.
He said the Rafah gate, at Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, had been designed as a pedestrian crossing point and was ill-suited for large aid convoys. Only a few convoys have been able to cross the border so far, and U.N. and American officials have said that vastly more is needed to help civilians in Gaza, who face dwindling supplies of food, clean water and medicine.
Nailah Morgan and Nick Cumming-Bruce contributed reporting.
Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest and most advanced medical complex in the Gaza Strip, is increasingly a flashpoint in the month-old Israel-Hamas war.
On Friday, at least one strike hit inside the hospital complex as fighting in Gaza City intensified between Israel and Hamas, the armed Palestinian group that rules the Gaza Strip. The territory’s health ministry claimed that it was an Israeli airstrike that killed one person. The Israeli military declined to comment immediately on any of the claims, and both the source of the blast and the extent of the damage were not yet clear.
Not long after the latest war began, Al-Shifa served as a refuge for tens of thousands of displaced Gazans seeking a degree of safety from Israel’s punishing air bombardment, unleashed after Hamas attacked Israel from Gaza on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,400 people.
Just a couple weeks ago, more than 60,000 displaced people were sheltering there. But it now appears that many of them have left as it has grown clearer that the Israeli military regards Al-Shifa as a possible threat, and perhaps a target.
Israel has long maintained that Al-Shifa is used as a Hamas war room and that Hamas’s leaders hide under the hospital. The Israeli military has repeatedly singled out Al-Shifa in statements in recent weeks, saying that the hospital provides cover for a Hamas military compound.
This has raised fears that Israeli forces were preparing the groundwork for an attack on Al-Shifa.
Late last month, for the first time, the Israeli military publicly laid out where it said specific installations were hidden in Al-Shifa, based on what it said was intelligence. The Israeli military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, told reporters that Hamas “does its command and control in different departments of the hospital.”
Admiral Hagari played a recording of a call, whose origins he did not specify, in which an unidentified man told a woman that Hamas’s military headquarters were below the hospital. He said these disclosures were part of a continuing effort to “expose” Hamas’s “exploitation of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”
Salama Marouf, the head of the Hamas-run Gaza government media office, denied the accusation in a news conference, saying Israel had “failed to provide a single piece of evidence” supporting its claims about Al-Shifa. He called the recording Admiral Hagari cited “fabricated.”
The Israeli authorities have also released videos that they say show Palestinian prisoners who were involved in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel speaking about Hamas’s use of Al-Shifa.
Israel has long viewed civilian infrastructure like malls and places of worship as legitimate targets for its strikes, saying Hamas uses civilians as human shields by running operations in, around and underneath such places. And it says that when attacking, it tries to limit harm to civilians.
Gaza’s hospitals are collapsing under the weight of Israel’s onslaught on the territory, coupled with a siege that has made food, water, fuel and medicine extremely scarce. Some hospitals have been forced to perform surgeries, including amputations and brain operations, without anesthesia.
Ghassan Abu Sittah, a British-Palestinian doctor who was at Al-Shifa until Thursday, described chaotic scenes at an overburdened hospital in a war zone.
“The place had that feel of mayhem, where things are out of control,” Dr. Abu Sittah said. “A lot of the doctors have left, as well as the internally displaced.”
“A lot of the patients who can walk have been moved to be with their families,” he added. “But there are a lot of people who can’t be moved.”
Nov. 10, 2023
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misstated when an Israeli airstrike hit near the entrance of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, killing multiple people. That airstrike was on Nov. 3, not on Wednesday.
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Hamas and Israel are negotiating two hostage release proposals, one involving a small number of people and one that could involve 100 or more civilians being held in Gaza, according to officials briefed on the talks.
Hamas and other Palestinian groups are holding around 240 people hostage in Gaza, according to Israeli officials and others briefed on the talks. A little less than half of them are civilians, and the larger deal being negotiated would involve the release of all of those, one official said.
Under one proposal being discussed, Hamas would release 10 to 20 civilian hostages — Israeli women and children as well as foreigners, including Americans — in exchange for a brief pause in hostilities, one official briefed on the talks said. That could be followed by a larger release of about 100 civilians if terms are met.
In exchange for releasing all the civilians, Hamas is asking for a brief pause, more humanitarian aid, fuel for hospitals and the release of women and children in Israeli prisons, the official said, adding that the Israeli authorities had expressed uncertainty about releasing their prisoners.
Qatar, which hosts political offices of Hamas, has been the main mediator in the talks, and senior United States officials are also involved.
American officials have broadly endorsed the notion of Israel pausing its attacks in Gaza for a hostage release, saying this would allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and the hostages to leave. On Friday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said at a news conference in New Delhi, “We’ll continue to focus relentlessly on getting our hostages home.”
The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel declined to comment.
Hamas has refused to release any of the military-age Israeli men it is holding in Gaza, according to the officials.
One official said a complicating factor was that Hamas had told Qatari negotiators that it held 20 or fewer civilians, and that the others were being held by Palestinian Islamic Jihad or other groups or individuals in Gaza who are not part of the Hamas command structure. The official said the governments involved in the talks had not independently verified this claim.
In recent weeks, some Hamas officials have tried to argue that the group’s fighters raided only military outposts in Israel on Oct. 7, when armed men killed about 1,400 Israelis and took about 240 people hostage. But videos and other evidence show that Hamas also attacked civilians in their homes.
Hamas officials are telling negotiators that they have all or almost all of the Israeli military personnel who were captured, numbering 130 to 140, but have no intention of releasing them soon, an official said.
Israeli officials have not released any breakdowns of military versus civilian hostages.
Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, along with another woman, Nurit Cooper, 79, was released last month after negotiations between Israel and Hamas were facilitated by Egypt and Qatar.Credit…Ariel Schalit/Associated Press
Hamas released a small number of hostages in two rounds last month — one of an American mother and her daughter who also have Israeli citizenship, and another of two elderly Israeli women. One earlier proposal for them to release about 50 hostages did not result in a deal.
William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, and David Barnea, the chief of Israel’s Mossad, were in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday for talks on the hostages. While U.S. officials have not met with Hamas directly, Qatari officials have been negotiating with them on the proposed hostage release.
American and Israeli officials are deeply skeptical of various Hamas claims about the hostages in Gaza, including the group’s assertions that they do not hold many of the civilian captives, according to officials briefed on the talks.
Among the foreign hostages are 23 Thai citizens who were working on kibbutzim in southern Israel. Hamas fighters and possibly other armed men killed 32 Thai workers on Oct. 7.
The current proposal for the release of about 100 civilians was reported by a Washington Post columnist. Offers to release larger numbers of hostages have been floated before.
The police in New York City are searching for vandals who scrawled “Hamas” and antisemitic graffiti on several Upper East Side apartment buildings last month amid a sharp increase in hate crimes directed at the Jewish community.
The neighborhood includes a substantial Jewish population. The vandalism, which the police are investigating as a hate crime, was first reported by The Daily News.
The New York Police Department said the incident occurred on Oct. 9, two days after Hamas fighters in Israel killed more than 1,400 people and captured more than 200.
There has been a rise in antisemitic and other bias crimes since the start of the war, placing both Jewish and Muslim New Yorkers on edge. Total hate crimes in New York City in October were more than double the levels for the previous October, and anti-Jewish incidents more than tripled.
Overall, there were 101 bias incidents in the city last month, of which 69 were directed against Jews, according to the police department. There were eight hate crimes against Muslims, compared with zero last October. For the year so far, hate crimes in the city are down almost 10 percent.
Earlier this week, New York lawmakers introduced a bill expanding the range of offenses that can be prosecuted as hate crimes and closing loopholes in existing laws. The legislation responds to what State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal called “an unprecedented rise in bias-motivated crimes against Jewish, Muslim, Asian American and L.G.B.T.Q. people.”
At least 39 journalists and other media workers have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war since Oct. 7, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, making the past month the deadliest for journalists in at least three decades, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The rate of journalist fatalities is also the highest for any conflict since 1992, when the organization began collecting detailed data on deaths. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to higher overall death tolls — 249 in Iraq and 67 in Afghanistan — but those fatalities occurred over many years.
Another two dozen journalists have been reported injured, missing or arrested in the Israel-Hamas war, according to data from C.P.J., a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending journalists worldwide.
The organization defines journalists as “people who cover news or comment on public affairs through any medium — including in print, online, via broadcast media, or photographs and video.” Media workers include essential support staff such as translators, drivers and fixers. The group said it did not include people in its tallies if there was evidence of their “acting on behalf of militant groups or serving in a military capacity at the time of their deaths.”
Sherif Mansour, the Middle East program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said members of the news media had served as eyewitnesses to the conditions in Gaza, especially when communication blackouts had at times severed the world’s connection to the area.
“Without having the journalists, without having the information,” he said, “we end up with misinformation that can only fuel the conflict.”
Mr. Mansour said local Palestinian journalists were paying “the highest toll” in the conflict because they were working on the front lines, often with little protection. Photojournalists have been especially vulnerable, he said.
In one case, Mohammed Abu Hatab, a correspondent for a Palestinian television channel, was killed in an airstrike along with 11 members of his family. At least four Israeli journalists were also killed or initially reported missing during the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, the group said.
Journalists working in military combat zones are protected as civilians under international law. But the Israeli military said in a letter to the Reuters and Agence France-Presse news agencies last month that it could not guarantee the safety of reporters in Gaza because the Hamas military operations it was targeting were “in the vicinity of journalists and civilians.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented the cases of 2,245 journalists killed on the job since 1992, tracking when and where they were killed, how they died and the reason or motive behind their death.
On the steps of the New York Public Library, demonstrators waved flags and called for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.CreditCredit…Dave Sanders for The New York Times
Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war shut down traffic in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday night, marking one of the largest actions in New York City in recent weeks.
Earlier in the day, dozens of students protested at schools around the city.
Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests have become a daily occurrence on the city’s streets and campuses in the last month, as anger over the war rises and fears about antisemitic and anti-Muslim bias escalate. Other campus conflicts have broken out on social media, sometimes between students furious with the response of administrators and with each other.
The march in Midtown closed sections of Fifth Avenue before protesters turned onto 34th Street, snarling evening commute traffic. Participants waved Palestinian flags and chanted “Shut it down” and “Free Palestine” to a drumbeat as they passed under the Christmas lights already strung along Macy’s facade.
“I think there’s a real need for solidarity right now,” said Sam Cribben as she marched along West 34th Street toward Eighth Avenue with a group of friends. “Palestinian people can’t really use their voice that much right now, and it’s on us to use our voices because they’re being silenced.”
Some high schoolers walked out at noon to gather in Bryant Park for a pro-Palestinian rally.Credit…Jeenah Moon for The New York Times
The day’s protest began as a student walkout. Small groups of high schoolers left their buildings around noon and joined a rally that began in Bryant Park around 3 p.m. Further north at Columbia University, roughly 300 students gathered on the Low Library steps to show their support for the Palestinian cause.
A group of pro-Israeli protesters wore shirts that said “Bring Them Home,” a reference to the 240 hostages who were taken during the Hamas attack and who are still inside Gaza.
At one point during the campus protest, a student near the Low Steps shouted a profanity aimed at Jews, prompting an uproar from the students around him.
Tensions have risen on college campuses in recent weeks as the debate over the Israel-Hamas war has divided student groups and roiled campus life. Fadi Shuman, a computer science undergraduate who is Palestinian, said he was upset Columbia wasn’t doing more to combat Islamophobia on campus.
“If we’re lucky, we get a sentence in the emails of two paragraphs,” Mr. Shuman, 31, said. “They won’t use the word ‘Palestine.’ They won’t use the word ‘Gaza’ — it says a lot.”
The Bryant Park rally expanded into a march through the streets, but paused as the crowd reached the City University of New York campus on Fifth Avenue. Sandor John, an adjunct professor at CUNY, said he came to support the high schoolers, and recalled protesting the Vietnam War when he was in high school.
“I want to show solidarity with the high school students and other students who are very courageously standing up in defense of the people of Gaza,” Mr. John said.
Protesters shut down portions of 34th street, marching past the Christmas lights already strung along Macy’s facade.Credit…Jeenah Moon for The New York Times
Luis Cruz, 19, who traveled to Bryant Park from Staten Island, said he was glad to see students in the crowd.
“I always think a younger generation are mostly with the people who are being oppressed instead of the oppressor,” he said.
As the protest wound its way up Eighth Avenue toward Times Square, it paused in front of The New York Times, where a group of journalists and writers had also gathered in the lobby to demand The Times’ Editorial Board call for a ceasefire.
Outside the building on West 40th Street, a police cruiser’s back window was smashed, and the vehicle was graffitied with the words “IDF KKK.”
Troy Closson, Nate Schweber, Liset Cruz and Erin Nolan contributed reporting.
Israeli police detained five prominent Arab Israeli politicians for several hours on Thursday, including former lawmakers, as they prepared to hold a vigil in the city of Nazareth to protest Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, two Israeli civic associations said. The groups denounced the action, saying it constituted suppression of free speech.
The police did not comment. The Israeli police chief, Yaakov Shabtai, had issued a directive last month saying that all permit applications for protests against the war should be rejected. The police also called on public leaders to prevent such demonstrations.
Those detained included Muhammad Barakeh, a former member of Israel’s Parliament, and four members of a small Palestinian nationalist Balad party, including its leader, Sami Abu Shehadeh, also a former member of Parliament, according to Adalah, the legal center for Arab rights.
The five were detained in mid-morning and released in mid-evening, according to a lawyer with Adalah, Nareman Zoabi. Some were ordered held under house arrest and were banned from entering Nazareth, the country’s largest Arab city, for two weeks, according to Ms. Zoabi. The vigil did not happen.
Mr. Abu Shehadeh said in a video shared by Arab Israeli media after his release that the vigil would have demanded a cease-fire “and an end to the bloodshed” in Gaza, where health authorities say more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s bombardment.
Arab citizens of Israel, many of whom identify as Palestinians, make up some 18 percent of the country’s population. Many say they have been subject to suspicion and harassment since Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israel from Gaza and killed about 1,400 people, mainly civilians, according to Israeli authorities.
A police statement issued to Israeli news outlets Thursday appeared to refer to the planned vigil and said that politicians, whom they didn’t name, had “tried to incite and violate public order.” Speaking to Arab Israeli media after their release, the politicians said the vigil would have complied with the law. Mr. Abu Shehadeh added that the police had detained them “unlawfully.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed armed group in Gaza, on Thursday night released videotaped statements from two Israelis held hostage in the enclave, a tactic Israeli authorities have denounced as a form of psychological warfare.
Roughly 240 people were abducted from Israel during the Hamas-led surprise attack on Oct. 7, including Israeli civilians, soldiers, and foreign nationals, according to Israeli authorities. Most of the hostages are believed to be held by Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist group which controls Gaza, but the less powerful Palestinian Islamic Jihad has said it has at least 30 abductees.
In the videos published by the group, the hostages — Hanna Katzir, 77, and Yagil Yaakov, 13 — call for Israel to bring them home. Ms. Katzir, sitting in a wheelchair, criticizes Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, and asks the Israeli government to reach with the kidnappers “clear agreements so we can return home.”
Hostages who appear in such videos are under extreme duress and their statements are usually coerced. Israeli officials have called the videos a form of “psychological warfare” aimed at influencing an Israeli public still reeling from the brutal Hamas-led attacks last month. The assault left roughly 1,400 people dead in Israel, most of them civilians, according to Israeli officials, and shattered the country’s sense of security.
Ms. Katzir and Yagil, whose identities were confirmed by an Israeli group representing the families of hostages, were residents of Nir Oz, an Israeli kibbutz near the border with Gaza that was devastated during the Hamas-led attacks. Roughly 180 of the community’s 400 residents were killed or abducted. Yagil’s older brother was also taken hostage, while gunmen murdered Ms. Katzir’s husband, Rami, their families have said.
Islamic Jihad’s armed wing claimed in a separate video statement that the group was willing to release Ms. Katzir and Yagil for “humanitarian reasons.” The group cited Yagil’s youth and its inability to provide medical treatment for Ms. Katzir.
The hostages have complicated Israel’s efforts to dismantle Hamas in Gaza and have put pressure on Mr. Netanyahu’s government. Hamas so far has released only four civilians, and Israeli troops rescued one other hostage. Indirect talks to free the others have not been successful.
Some families of hostages have expressed concern that the government has prioritized its military goals in Gaza at the expense of a deal that could bring back their loved ones. In mid-October, Hamas released two other videos of hostages, one of whom also criticized the Israeli government.
In a televised statement on Thursday night, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military spokesman, called the new videos “a sign of life from dear Hanna and Yagil from inside the Gaza Strip.”
“We tell them and all the families of the hostages, as well as the hostages if they can hear me: We have not missed any opportunity, and we will not miss any opportunity, to bring back hostages,” Admiral Hagari said.