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Report: Israeli Hostages Were Held in Homes of Prominent Hamas Professionals in Gaza

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Report: Israeli Hostages Were Held in Homes of Prominent Hamas Professionals in Gaza

Edited by:  Fern Sidman

Dr. Ahmad Al-Jamal, a 73-year-old general practitioner, was a well-respected figure in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. His mornings were dedicated to serving the public at a local clinic, while his afternoons were spent at his private clinic, providing essential medical services to the community, as was recently reported by The Wall Street Journal. Known for his skill in performing circumcisions, Dr. Al-Jamal was also an imam at a local mosque, where his Quran recitations were cherished by the faithful.

However, the benevolent exterior of Dr. Al-Jamal’s life masked a harrowing secret. For several months, his home, shared with his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren, concealed a clandestine operation. According to the information provided in the WSJ report, the Al-Jamal family was hiding three Israeli hostages for Hamas, a fact that remained undisclosed to most residents of the densely populated camp.

Local knowledge indicated that the Al-Jamal family had close ties to Hamas. Dr. Al-Jamal’s son, Abdullah, a 37-year-old Palestinian journalist, was involved in the hostage situation. Indicated in the WSJ report was that the hostages, who were confined in a locked and guarded room within the family’s apartment, could hear the daily lives of Abdullah, his wife Fatma, a phlebotomist, and their children unfolding just beyond their reach.

The concealed truth came to a violent end when Israeli forces, targeting the heart of Hamas operations, executed a precise airstrike on the building housing the Al-Jamal family on June 8th. The airstrike followed a commando raid aimed at rescuing the hostages. The report in the WSJ said that the operation resulted in the deaths of Dr. Ahmad Al-Jamal, his son Abdullah, and Abdullah’s wife. The children of the family, however, survived the attack, according to accounts from neighbors.

Dr. Ahmad Al-Jamal’s dual identity as a community healer and a participant in the activities of a terrorist organization highlights the complex interplay between personal morality and political allegiance in such environments. The Al-Jamal family’s involvement with Hamas also sheds light on the broader social dynamics within Gaza.

In the shadow of the Al-Jamal family’s home in Nuseirat, another family with ties to Hamas harbored their own dark secret. The Abu Nar family, less prominent but no less entwined with the terrorist group, was holding Noa Argamani, a high-profile Israeli hostage whose abduction from the Nova festival on October 7 was captured on video and widely circulated, as was reported by the WSJ. Argamani’s kidnapping made her one of the most recognized among the approximately 250 hostages taken that day.

According to local residents and an Israeli official, the Abu Nar family’s connection to Hamas and their role in hiding a hostage drew deadly consequences. The Abu Nar family, like the Al-Jamals, was killed, and their building was obliterated during an Israeli military operation, as was noted in the WSJ report,

The objective of the June 8 operation by Israeli special forces was to rescue hostages from both the Al-Jamal and Abu Nar residences. This mission was marked by intense fighting and heavy airstrikes. As per the information provided in the WSJ report, the Israeli military stated that the special forces eliminated armed Hamas terrorists guarding the hostages but refrained from commenting on whether they had also killed family members in the process.

In the aftermath of the raid, the site where the Al-Jamal family once lived became a point of morbid curiosity. The rubble drew crowds of onlookers eager to witness the location where hostages had been secretly held within their community. Also indicated in the WSJ report was that this revelation sparked widespread discussion among local residents about the strategic missteps of Hamas in keeping Israeli hostages above ground in such a densely populated area, particularly near a bustling market.

The dense construction of the Nuseirat neighborhood, with its concrete and cinder-block buildings, made it difficult to conceal such activities. The report added that residents expressed surprise at the secret’s longevity, noting that even the slightest sounds, such as a cough, could easily travel through the walls.

The community’s reaction to these events has been one of growing anger towards Hamas. Many believe that the Iranian-backed terrorist group’s decision to keep hostages in residential areas unnecessarily endangered civilians. “Hamas should give us a map of the safe zones we can stay in, because if we knew there were hostages in the neighborhood, we would have looked for another place,” said Mustafa Muhammad, 36, who fled from Gaza City to Nuseirat early in the war with his wife and infant daughter, as was affirmed in the WSJ report.

The notion that Hamas could have avoided such a crisis by using their extensive network of tunnels to house the hostages is a common sentiment among locals. These tunnels, often utilized by Hamas for strategic military purposes, could have provided a more secure location, away from civilian areas, the WSJ report explained. Others argue that the hostages should have been returned to Israel as part of a negotiated cease-fire, a process that has seen little success despite prolonged efforts.

Notably, none of those quoted in the WSJ report or any Gaza “civilians” have offered their condemnations of the October 7th massacre orchestrated by Hamas with the financial backing of Iran. Neither has any Gaza residents given voice to even a modicum of opposition to Hamas for the abduction of Israeli civilians or soldiers, many of whom were peace activists and advocated on behalf of Palestinians living in Gaza. Media pundits and other expert commentators on Middle Eastern affairs have noted that close to the entire 2.2 million people living in Gaza either support Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization.

The Al-Jamal family, comprising Ahmad and his son Abdullah, was deeply embedded within the Hamas network. This connection is evident in the broader familial ties, such as Ahmad’s brother, Abdelrahman Al-Jamal, who serves as a Hamas lawmaker in Gaza’s legislative council, the WSJ reported. Hamas’s control over mosques in Gaza means that imams, like Ahmad, operate with the terrorist group’s approval, further entrenching the family’s association with Hamas.

This intricate web of familial and organizational ties complicates the narrative of victimhood and culpability. While the Al-Jamal and Abu Nar families suffered devastating losses, their involvement with Hamas and the subsequent harboring of hostages positioned them as active participants in the conflict, according to the information contained in the WSJ report.

Abdullah Al-Jamal, a figure whose life and actions embody the intricate and often contradictory realities of the Gaza Strip, was known for his multifaceted roles as a journalist, a spokesman, and a terrorist supporter of Hamas, as was described in the WSJ report.  He was a freelance contributor to the Palestine Chronicle, a pro-Hamas news website based in the United States. The WSJ report noted that his writings and reports were imbued with a clear pro-Hamas perspective, reflecting the broader editorial stance of the publication. Additionally, he worked for Palestine Now, a news agency operated by Hamas, according to Gaza’s government media office, which confirmed his death, the WSJ added. His role extended beyond journalism; he served as a spokesman for Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Labor, a position that further solidified his alignment with the terrorist group.

Al-Jamal made no attempt to conceal his fervent support for Hamas and its activities. On October 7, he openly celebrated the Hamas-led attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,200 Israelis and others, most of them civilians, as was pointed out in the WSJ report. This attack marked a significant escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Indicated in the WSJ report was that in a Facebook post on the same day, Abdullah wrote, “Praise be to God…Oh God, guide us…Oh God, guide us…Oh God, guide us…Oh God, grant us the victory you promised.” This post not only underscored his ideological commitment to Hamas but also highlighted the religious fervor that often accompanies such terrorist actions.

The media landscape in Gaza is heavily influenced by political and terrorist factions, with outlets such as Palestine Now serving as mouthpieces for Hamas, the WSJ report said. This intertwining of media and terrorism complicates efforts to obtain objective reporting and exacerbates the cycle of Palestinian propaganda that fuels the conflict.

 

 

 

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