TEL AVIV, December 5. /TASS/. Israeli intelligence services have information on the presumed location of the remaining hostages, reserve Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Jonathan Conricus said at a briefing.
"The short answer would be yes, we have [data]," Conricus said when asked by reporters if the IDF had any information on the purported whereabouts of the remaining hostages. "But as you said, as you correctly suggested, I'm not free to share those details because of the sensitivity of the issue, and of course that would jeopardize our efforts in the future. But I can say that this is a key priority," he added.
Conricus pointed out that the release of the hostages is a top priority for Israeli intelligence, including IDF Military Intelligence. He also noted that Israel intends to return all hostages. "If it can be done through negotiations, that's great. And if it can't be done through negotiations, then we will act in other, kinetic ways," the spokesman emphasized.
Earlier, IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said that Hamas militants continue to hold 137 Israelis hostage.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 when militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian movement Hamas staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from Gaza, killing residents of Israeli border settlements and taking over 200 hostages, including women, children and the elderly. Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. In response, Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, and has been delivering air strikes on Gaza as well as some parts of Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also underway in the West Bank.