Hamas releases hostages from central Gaza to send a message amid Netanyahu's visit

Unlike previous hand over where freed hostages released from southern Gaza, this time they were transferred to Red Cross from Gaza City — a region that, according to the IDF, Hamas no longer controls; However, this was referred to in Gaza as a 'show of strength'
Hamas hands over the hostages to the Red Cross in Gaza City

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited northern Gaza on Sunday, as the IDF estimated that Hamas lost control of that part of the strip. However, the Israeli hostages who were released on the same day were delivered to the Red Cross from the center of Gaza City, in what is believed to be a message to Israel that Hamas is still in control.
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The hostages in the first two batches were released from the southern Gaza Strip, an area not under the control of the IDF. However, on Sunday, in what Gaza termed a "Hamas power display," unlike previous instances, the handover of the Israelis freed from captivity took place in the center of Gaza City.
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Hamas terrorists release Israeli hostage in Gaza City
Hamas terrorists release Israeli hostage in Gaza City
Hamas terrorists release Israeli hostage in Gaza City
(Photo: Screenshot)
Members of Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, delivered the captives using several jeeps in a sort of power display. After their transfer, residents shouted "Allah Akbar". According to the military wing, "the transfer occurred in that location after photos of Netanyahu entering the northern part of Gaza were published to convey a message of control and display."
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 ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו סייר ברצועת עזה
 ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו סייר ברצועת עזה
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Gaza Strip
(Photo: GPO)
A Gazan journalist mentioned that "the process of handing over the Israeli hostages took place in the heart of Gaza City, unlike its previous location in the last two days, and in the presence of crowds with absolute ease. The public and members of the Al-Qassam Brigades unexpectedly appeared, staging a show of strength during the handover in the streets of Gaza. Fights between Hamas and the occupation occurred in the same place a few days ago, at the same place where the handover occurred."
Hostages in Red Cross ambulances en route to Israel
During his visit to the strip, Netanyahu said, "We are here in the Gaza Strip with our brave soldiers. We are making every effort to bring back our captives, and ultimately we will bring them all back. We have three objectives in this war: to eliminate Hamas, to return all our captives, and to ensure that Gaza does not revert to being a threat to the State of Israel."
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