Hamas says fighters captured Israeli soldiers in Gaza fighting, Israel denies claim

A spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing Ezzedine al-Qassem Brigades said early on Sunday that its fighters had captured Israeli soldiers during fighting in Gaza’s Jabalia.

The Israeli military denied the claim by Hamas’ armed wing, saying, “The [Israeli army] clarifies that there is no incident in which a soldier was abducted.”

The war erupted after Hamas’s October 7 attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,903 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the territory’s health ministry.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Efforts to achieve the release of more than 120 hostages abducted during Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel within the framework of a ceasefire deal have so far fallen short.

Both sides have blamed the other for the deadlock. Israel has said it cannot accept Hamas’ demand to end the war, while the Palestinians want Palestinian prisoners to be released by Israel.

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