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Keith Siegel and Omri Miran: Video shows US and Israeli hostages alive in Gaza

  • By Anna Foster
  • BBC News, Jerusalem

Image source, HOSTAGE VIDEO

Legend, Keith Siegel, 64, is seen in new images

Hamas released a video showing the first proof of life of two more hostages held in Gaza.

In undated footage filmed under duress, Omri Miran claims he has been detained for 202 days and Keith Siegel mentions this week’s Passover holiday, indicating the clips were filmed recently.

Both were captured when Hamas launched its deadly attacks on October 7.

In response to the video, their families said they would continue to fight for the men’s return.

They also urged the Israeli government to reach a new agreement on the release of the hostages.

The new video comes as Hamas said it was studying Israel’s latest truce proposal. Media reported that the Egyptian mediator had sent a delegation to Israel to give new impetus to the stalled negotiations.

Mr Siegel, a US citizen, was kidnapped along with his wife Aviva, although she was released in November during a brief truce.

In a video statement, Keith’s wife Aviva said: “Keith, I love you, we will fight until you come back.” Earlier this month, she told the BBC how the couple were at one point left in a tunnel by their captors as they were moved from location to location. At the time of the interview, she said she did not know if Keith was still alive.

His daughter Ilan said: “Seeing my father today only highlights to everyone how we need to reach an agreement as quickly as possible and get everyone home. I demand that the leaders of this country watch this video and see their father screaming for help.”

His other daughter, Shir, said: “If you watched the video, you saw that my father knows that we all come to the rally every week and fight for him and all the captives. »

Legend, Protesters in Hostages Square were joined by crowds calling for early elections in Israel

Speaking at the weekly protest in Tel Aviv demanding action for the release of the hostages on Saturday evening, Dani Miran, Omri Miran’s father, led the crowd’s chants.

He was visibly moved as he delivered a powerful speech, describing his excitement at seeing his son’s video, knowing that “he was hopefully alive.”

But his speech also had a political dimension. He addressed the government directly and mentioned its far-right members, National Security Minister Itamar bin Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, by name, calling on them to enter into a hostage deal.

He urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “endorse any viable agreement.”

“Take one small step without bloodshed for both peoples,” he said, adding: “All the people of Israel and the nations of the world want to see an end to bloodshed and especially an end of the suffering of your people.

What is also remarkable is that before Omri’s father gave his speech, the video of the hostage situation was broadcast in full on large screens around the Place des Otages.

This is very unusual, as these videos are not usually shown on television.

Video caption, Watch: Aviva Siegel, center, said the family will continue to fight for her husband’s safe return

The headquarters of the Hostage Families Forum said the latest video was “the clearest evidence yet that the Israeli government must do everything to approve a deal for the return of all hostages.”

This follows another proof-of-life video the group released earlier this week, showing Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, who is shown missing his lower left arm in the short clip. It was destroyed during the Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7.

In response, his mother and father also called for more to be done to secure a new deal to release the hostages.

The Siegels were kidnapped from Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7 when Hamas attacked Israeli communities near Gaza, while Mr. Miran was captured from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

Speaking under duress in the video released by Hamas’ military wing, Mr. Siegel, 64, and Mr. Miran, 46, urged the Israeli government to reach a deal with Hamas for a ceasefire. fire and the release of the hostages.

“I have been here in Hamas captivity for 202 days. The situation here is unpleasant, difficult and there are many bombs,” Mr. Miran is heard saying.

Indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas to secure their release – and that of other remaining hostages – continue, with weeks of talks failing to produce an agreement.

Hamas rejected a previous proposal for a six-week ceasefire in exchange for the release of the remaining 40 hostages.

The group has already insisted that any agreement should include a permanent end to the war, the complete withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza and the unrestricted return of displaced people to their homes. Israel insists it must destroy Hamas in Gaza and free the hostages.

Israel appears to be moving ahead with plans for an offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings of potentially catastrophic humanitarian consequences for the 1.5 million displaced Palestinians who have sought refuge there.

“We are making all the preparations for the operation (in Rafah) because that is what needs to be done,” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Saturday.

“But I hope there will be an agreement.”

Hamas attacks have killed around 1,200 people and taken some 250 hostages. Israel’s campaign of retaliation in Gaza has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

A deal reached in November allowed Hamas to release 105 hostages – mostly women and children – in exchange for a one-week ceasefire and some 240 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Some 133 hostages are still believed to be in Gaza, around thirty of whom are dead.

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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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