Israel will not hold off on ground offensive over hostages-minister tells Bild

Israel will not hold off on ground offensive over hostages-minister tells Bild
Israeli troops with a variety of military vehicles at a gathering site at an undisclosed location along the Israel-Gaza border, in southern Israel, 18 October 2023. According to Palestinian officials hundreds of people have been killed in an air strike on a hospital in Gaza on 17 October. Hamas blames the blast on an Israeli air strike, but Israel says it was caused by rockets misfired by another group and both sides deny responsibility. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Hannibal Hanschke)

Israel will not hold off on a possible ground invasion of Gaza overthe issue of captives being held there, Israel's energy minister told German tabloid newspaper Bild.

Hamas gunmen killed 1,400 people and took more than 200 hostages in cross-border assault on Oct. 7.

In an interview published on Tuesday, energy minister Israel Katz said everything would be done to bring the hostages home. “But that cannot hinder our actions including the ground offensive, if we decide on it,” he was quoted as saying.

“Hamas wants us to deal with the captives and wants the military to not go in to eliminate their infrastructure. That will not happen,” Katz added.

The armed wing of Hamas said on Monday it had released two more female civilian captives on health grounds in response to Egyptian-Qatari mediation efforts.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger, editing by Deepa Babington)


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