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Hamas buys time in hostage talks as it ups psychological war against Israel

Israel estimates that the publishing by Hamas of another video of a hostage and the demand by the group for five days of cease-fire as part of a deal to release captives, are meant for it to buy more time against the IDF ground offensive.
Palestinian fighters of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, take part in a military parade to mark the anniversary of the 2014 war with Israel, near the border in the central Gaza Strip on July 19, 2023. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

TEL AVIV — The raging Israeli-Palestinian battle for public opinion escalated Monday with the posting of another Hamas video that depicted one of Israel’s worst nightmares, in what has been described by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a "psychological war."

The short clip showed Noa Marciano, a 19-year-old soldier kidnapped from her military post along the Gaza border on Oct. 7, describing her captivity and warning that the intense Israeli bombings of the Gaza Strip could kill the estimated 240 hostages. 

According to her Hebrew-language monologue, Marciano had been held for four days at that point. The video then zoomed in to show a close-up of Marciano’s body with a head wound that likely killed her at some point. On Tuesday morning, the IDF said Marciano was considered dead. 

The video was posted almost at the same time as Israelis were glued to their screens to watch Israel’s military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, deliver his evening briefing, in a live TV broadcast. 

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