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After rescue, Hamas ordered to kill hostages if IDF operation feared

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By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The dramatic rescue on Saturday of four Israeli hostages held by Hamas terrorists in the central Gaza town of Nuseirat has led the terror group’s leaders to tighten security around the remaining captives, The New York Times reported Monday, including issuing standing orders to kill hostages at the first sign of a rescue attempt.

On Saturday, Israeli security personnel operating undercover in Nuseirat entered two apartment units where four captives taken hostage on October 7th were being held.

Israeli special operations forces managed to neutralize the hostages’ captors who attempted to prevent their escape, rescue the four captives, and successfully extract the force from central Gaza.

Monday’s Times report, which cited both Israeli and American officials, said that following the weekend rescue, senior Hamas leaders have instructed terrorists holding Israeli captives to immediately shoot the hostages if they believe IDF forces may be approaching.

Following Saturday’s rescue operation, Hamas released a video statement claiming that three other captives, including one with American citizenship, were killed during the operation.

The officials cited in the Times report could neither confirm nor deny the claim, but said that if the three had indeed been killed on Saturday, it is possible they were slain by their captors in response to the rescue operation.

American officials told the Times that the United States has played a significant intelligence role in the effort to locate the captives held in Gaza.

The American military has, according to U.S. officials, run a near continuous surveillance mission over Gaza, using no less than six MQ-9 Reaper drone aircraft.

IDF Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Avi Kalo said the U.S. and U.K. have both provided significant support for surveillance and information collection, calling the joint effort with the IDF “the largest intelligence effort ever conducted in Israel, and probably ever.”

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