The Palestinian militant group Hamas claims that almost 50 Israeli hostages held in Gaza since the October 7 attacks have been killed as a result of Israeli bombing raids on the territory.
The group made the claim in a statement released on its Telegram channel, though the claim has not been independently verified. Israel's bombardment of Gaza followed a series of brutal attacks on southern Israel carried out by Hamas.
The ongoing violence has raised fears of an all-out conflict, as the region enters into a period of heightened tensions.
The Israeli army has confirmed that at least 224 people were abducted during the October 7 attack that killed over 1,400 people, mostly civilians. Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari stated that this number is based on the latest intelligence and may change as new information becomes available. He added that the army's top priority is the safe return of the hostages, many of whom hold foreign passports.
The AFP news agency reports that the attack has caused widespread outrage, with many calling for a strong response from the international community.