Chilling new hostage video shows Hamas kidnapping female Israeli soldiers

Parents of female Israeli soldiers kidnapped from a military base during the October 7 attack by Hamas have released a graphic video of the capture, as a “last resort” to pressure the Israeli government to negotiate a hostage deal.

Fifteen female Israel Defense Force (IDF) border spotters were murdered at the Nahal Oz military base close to the border on Oct 7, and seven were abducted and taken to Gaza. One of these has since been rescued by the IDF and another died in captivity.

Parents of the five surviving female soldiers made the three-minute video public on Wednesday. It shows the terrified young women being harassed and handcuffed by Hamas fighters and taken away.

The group of parents said the publication of the footage represented a last-ditch attempt to convince the Israeli government to restart talks with Hamas to bring back the hostages.

Eli Elbag, the father of 19-year-old Liri Elbag, told local television the families decided to release the disturbing clip as “the prime minister is dragging his feet on the issue of the hostages”.

Two young women are seen. One has a lot of what appears to be blood smeared on her face
A still from the footage showing the capture of the five young women, after the murder of their colleagues

“We decided to release it now and expose ourselves, to undress on television, to reveal the most sensitive thing for the families, and we do it because we want our government to wake up,” Mr Elbag told Channel 12 on Wednesday.

Hostage talks between Israel and Hamas broke down earlier this month with seemingly unbridgeable differences.

Even if a partial release of hostages is negotiated, the five young IDF conscripts are unlikely to be included. Priority is expected to go to the wounded, children, elderly people and civilian women whom Hamas has in captivity.

The overwhelming majority of the remaining 128 Israeli hostages are civilians, not combatants.

Footage comes from bodycam

The three-minute video comes from the bodycam of a Hamas fighter. It was seized by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), which edited it so it does not show the bodies of the murdered soldiers.

Liri Elbag, Karina Ariev, Agam Berger, Daniella Gilboa and Naama Levy, still dressed in their pyjamas because the base was overrun at dawn, look terrified in the video.

They are seen in a room full of dozens of camouflage-clad Hamas fighters, armed with machine guns, who scream at the young women and pin them against a wall to handcuff them.

When one of the women tries to say in English that she has friends in Palestine – she reportedly volunteered for charities helping the West Bank – the attackers shout her down, with one saying: “Our brothers died because of you, we will shoot all of you.”

A man uses a cable tie to secure a young woman's wrists, while a subtitle reads 'You are so beautiful'
A still from the video, which was taken from the bodycam footage of a Hamas attacker

At least three of the women appear to be injured, with blood smeared on their faces.

In one chilling moment, a fighter with the distinctive green Hamas headband points at one of the young women, sitting on the floor in her Snoopy pyjamas. In Arabic, he tells the man filming the video: “Here are the girls, women who can get pregnant. These are the Zionists.”

He later looks at the woman and says in English: “You are so beautiful.”

The women were then seen being led away from the base, with some of them visibly injured and limping to a pick-up truck.

The Hostages’ Families Forum, a group advocating for the Israeli captives, on Wednesday described the video as a “damning testament to the nation’s failure to bring home the hostages, who have been forsaken for 229 days”.

They added: “The Israeli government must not waste even one more moment – it must return to the negotiating table today!”

Families say daughters were abandoned

Families of the women soldiers have complained that their daughters were abandoned at a base that did not have any military reinforcements and was not considered a high-risk place to serve.

The job of the kidnapped women was to monitor the movements of Hamas fighters and Palestinian civilians on the other side of the border with Gaza.

Reports in local media suggested that some of the women had alerted the military leadership to the heightened activity in the run-up to the Oct 7 attack, only for their reports to be dismissed as insignificant.

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