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Palestinians: Complete withdrawal of Israeli troops only way to free captives

Israeli soldiers are riding in a humvee in the Gaza Strip on June 14, 2024. (AFP photo)

The military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement has reiterated that Israel has to end its offensive and withdraw all its forces from the Gaza Strip if it wants the release of the remaining captives held by Hamas.

The spokesman of al-Quds Brigades posted a video on Telegram on Saturday, saying that the only way is to end the hostilities in Gaza and reach a deal to exchange Israeli detainees for Palestinian prisoners.

Israel says there are 116 detainees left in Gaza out of 250 taken captive during Hamas's unprecedented operation against the occupied territories on October 7.

More than 100 were released in exchange for about 240 Palestinians held by the regime during a temporary ceasefire in November.

Hamas spokesperson and political bureau member Osama Hamdan told CNN on Friday that “no one has an idea” how many of them are alive.

Hamdan also made it clear that any deal to release the captives must include guarantees of a permanent ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

Hamas needed “a clear position from Israel to accept the ceasefire, a complete withdrawal from Gaza, and let the Palestinians determine their future by themselves, the reconstruction, the (lifting) of the siege … and we are ready to talk about a fair deal about the prisoners' exchange.”

The Israeli military said it freed four captives during a raid against the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza last Saturday.

The regime’s forces directly targeted civilians, including children, during “a barbaric and brutal aggression” against the refugee camp, killing at least 274 Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials.

Israel launched its bloodiest-ever military campaign against Gaza in October. It has so far killed more than 37,290 people in the Palestinian territory.

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