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Hostage rescue for Israelis; 'massacre' for Palestinians

A joint operation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Shin Bet, and Israeli police in the Nuseirat refugee camp of central Gaza on June 8 rescued four hostages—and killed over 200 Palestinians amid pitched gun-battles in a heavy populated area. The rescued hostages had been abducted from the Nova music festival on Oct. 7, and are reported to be in good medical condition. In a public statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "saluted" those involved in the operation, saying: "We will not relent until we complete the mission and return all our hostages home, both the living and the deceased."

To date, the IDF has recused seven hostages, recovered 19 bodies, and mistakenly killed three hostages. The IDF has also confirmed the deaths of 41 hostages whose bodies remain in Hamas captivity. A further 105 hostages were released during a temporary ceasefire at the end of November 2023. A total of 116 hostages are still held.

But Gaza's health ministry said the IDF operation killed at least 274 Palestinians. The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, described the operation as a "gruesome massacre," according to Palestinian official media. He has instructed Palestine's envoy to the United Nations to request an emergency session of the Security Council over the matter, and reiterated his call for international intervention to halt the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan commented in response to the news that the US is "supporting all efforts to secure the release of hostages still held by Hamas, including American citizens. This includes through ongoing negotiations or other mean." He went on to stress that a ceasefire deal "now on the table" would release the remaining hostages, provide "security assurances" for Israel and ensure a increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza:

This deal has the full backing of the United States and has been endorsed by countries from around the world, including the G7, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, and Qatar, as well as the sixteen countries with their citizens still being held by Hamas. They all must be released— now.

From Jurist, June 9. Used with permission.