Israelis held captive by Hamas inside settlement reportedly freed

JERUSALEM – Dozens of Israelis held captive by Hamas fighters inside a settlement near the Gaza Strip were freed, Israeli media said Sunday.

Public broadcaster KAN said the hostages inside a dining room in the settlement of Be’eri were set free and Hamas attackers were neutralized.

The hostages were taken as part of a surprise attack by the Palestinian group Hamas early Saturday that involved dozens of fighters who infiltrated Israeli towns near the enclave amid heavy rocket fire.

The Israeli Health Ministry said at least 300 Israelis were killed and over 1,500 injured in the Hamas attack.

The army confirmed that a “substantial” number of soldiers and civilians were captured by Hamas and taken into Gaza.

Hamas said Sunday that the number of Israelis held captive was “several times greater” than dozens.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to use all of Israel’s strength to destroy Hamas’ capabilities and “take revenge for this black day.” (Anadolu)