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Gaza war: Hamas video allegedly depicts three captives killed by Israel, including US citizen

The names of those said to be killed were not released, but the video shows what appears to be three unidentifiable corpses with censor bars over their faces
An Israeli military armoured vehicle rolls in an area bordering the Gaza Strip on 9 June (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

Hamas' military wing claimed in a video on Sunday that Israeli forces killed three captives, including a US citizen, in Saturday's military operation in central Gaza that resulted in the deaths of at least 276 Palestinians

The Qassam Brigades did not release the names of those said to be killed, but the video, posted on its Telegram channel, showed what appeared to be three unidentifiable corpses using censor bars over their faces.

"Your captives will not be released unless our prisoners are freed," the video added.

On Saturday, the Israeli army said it targeted "terrorist infrastructure in the Nuseirat area", north of the town of Deir al-Balah, as Israeli special forces freed four hostages in the same area.

The operation saw three men and a woman who were kidnapped at the Nova music festival brought back to Israel. They were named as Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40.

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While Israelis celebrated the return of the hostages, Palestinians mourned as the death toll hit 274, with more than 400 wounded.

"The occupation has annihilated the Nuseirat refugee camp. Innocent and unarmed civilians were bombed in their homes. I've never seen anything like this. It's a catastrophe," local resident Nidal Abdo told Middle East Eye. 

"I came from the camp to here in the hospital on foot. I can't describe how we fled. I saw dead children and body parts strewn all over as we fled. No one was able to assist them. I saw an elderly man killed on a animal-drawn cart.

"Nuseirat was being annihilated. It was hell."

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Shortly after news of the operation broke, Hamas said Israeli forces had killed some of the captives, without providing any evidence, and warned that conditions would worsen for remaining captives following the attack.

An Israeli military spokesman called the announcement a "blatant lie". 

The European Union called the latest Israeli assault "a massacre" while one medic said the inside of the Al-Aqsa Hospital described the scene as a "complete bloodbath."

Tanya Haj-Hassan said staff at the Al-Aqsa Hospital were overwhelmed by the number of dead and wounded arriving following the bombing, with many patients forced to lie on the floor as staff struggled to treat them.

"That is what a massacre looks like," Haj-Hassan told Al Jazeera. 

"The images and videos that I’ve received show patients lying everywhere in pools of blood … their limbs have been blown off."

Hamas has said that Israel's release of the four captives "will not change the Israeli army’s strategic failure in the Gaza Strip," especially after taking eight months to enact the operation.

It also said reports that the US facilitated the Israeli operation prove again that Washington is "complicit and completely involved in the war crimes being perpetrated" in the besieged coastal enclave.

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