Four hostages freed in deadly Israeli raid on central Gaza

Gazans seized an opportunity following the release of hostages in Nuseirat to direct rare criticism at Hamas. Some vented anger and frustration, though others rushed to defend the group.

Hassan Omar, 37, lamented the unnecessary loss of lives in Israeli strikes. He told me: “For each Israeli hostage they could have freed 80 Palestinian prisoners and without any bloodshed – [that] is a million times better than losing 100 dead.

“My message to Hamas is stopping the loss is part of the gain, we should get rid of those who control us from Qatar hotels.”

Muhammad Diab wrote from Gaza: “Hiding hostages near a vital area and a commercial market crowded with people is abnormal behaviour and confirmation that these people do not value our blood and lives. They will continue this nonsense until the last child dies.”

However, Hamas supporters rushed to defend the movement, arguing that the release of hostages was not a significant achievement in the overall conflict with Israel.
Uday al-Rantisi stated: “It was a small victory in the midst of larger defeats.”

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