The threat of an Israeli ground invasion of the blockaded Gaza Strip “doesn’t scare us and we are ready for it”, Abu Obeideh, the spokesman of Hamas’s military wing, said Monday.
In a televised statement, he said Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades were holding 200 people captive since a massive onslaught on Israel’s south on October 7, with about 50 others held by other “resistance factions and in other places”.
“The threat of the occupation (Israel) to launch a ground offensive against our people doesn’t scare us and we are ready for it,” Abu Obeideh said ahead of an expected Israeli invasion more than a week into war.
More than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel in the violence that began with the early morning Hamas attack, according to Israeli officials.
Army spokesman Daniel Hagari said earlier Monday Israel had been able to confirm and notify the relatives of 199 people held captives in Gaza.
According to Abu Obeideh, “we will release the foreign prisoners when conditions are ripe”.
He said at least 22 hostages taken from Israel had been killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza.
Overall, more than 2,750 people have been killed in Israeli strikes on the narrow Palestinian enclave since October 7, according to Hamas officials.
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