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WORLD | 25-04-2024 12:55

Argentina, 17 other nations to call on Hamas to release Israeli hostages

Argentina signs joint statement calling for the release of the hostages held in Gaza; Casa Rosada's release says nation is aligned with "nations of the free world."

President Javier Milei's government has joined leaders of the United States, Britain, France and more than a dozen other countries in calling for Hamas to release the scores of hostages it is holding.

Hamas seized the hostages during a shock October 7 attack that sparked the deadliest ever war between it and Israel, which has vowed to eliminate the Palestinian militant group.

"We call for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza for over 200 days. They include our own citizens," a total of 18 world leaders said in a joint statement issued by the White House.

The statement was also signed by the leaders of Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia,  Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

"We emphasise that the deal on the table to release the hostages would bring an immediate and prolonged ceasefire in Gaza, that would facilitate a surge of additional necessary humanitarian assistance to be delivered throughout Gaza, and lead to the credible end of hostilities," they said. 

"We strongly support the ongoing mediation efforts in order to bring our people home."

Argentina's version of the statement – which highlighted its alliance with "the nations of the free world" – included an additional line, reading: "Argentina demands the release of the hostages and the resolution of the hell unleashed by Hamas on 7/10/2023."

Israel estimates 129 of the roughly 250 people abducted during the Hamas attack on October 7 remain in Gaza, including 34 who the military says are dead.

The Hamas attack resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

At least 34,305 people have been killed in Gaza during more than six months of war between Israel and Palestinian militants, the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said Thursday.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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