The Israeli military began offering cash and protection for anyone who shares accurate information on the whereabouts of hostages held by Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.
Gazans found the leaflets on the streets across Gaza on Tuesday after they’ve been dropped from Israeli aircraft, the latest in a slew of steps by Israel to locate some of the people Hamas is holding captive.
“If your will is to live in peace and to have a better future for your children, do the humanitarian deed immediately and share verified and valuable information about hostages being held in your area,” read the leaflets, written in Arabic and shared by the Israel Defense Forces.
“The Israeli military assures you that it will invest maximum effort in providing security for you and your home, and you will receive a financial reward. We guarantee you complete confidentiality,” they said.
More than two weeks after Hamas attacked and killed around 1,400 Israelis, there are growing calls inside the country to rethink the scope of a ground invasion that had been expected any day. The fate of the hostages — estimated at around 200 including perhaps several dozen who are dead — is one of the main concerns that have so far held back the land incursion.
Hamas has so far released four hostages, including two elderly people that were set free on Monday through Qatar’s mediation.