The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group in Gaza said Thursday it is prepared to release two Israeli hostages on humanitarian grounds.
One is a 77-year-old woman, the other is a 13-year-old boy — both were shown in a video released by PIJ, a rival Islamist militant group to Hamas in Gaza.
CNN is not naming the two hostages at this point, nor is it showing the video, following a request by the families of the two hostages for their privacy to be respected at this time.
Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari referenced the video in his daily evening news conference, saying, “We have not missed, and we will not miss, any chance to return hostages.”
In a text statement, Abu Hamza, a leader of Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said that his group is prepared to release one hostage “for medical reasons” and a second “for humanitarian reasons and for his young age.”
Hamza did not elaborate on the timing or circumstances under which the hostages might be released.
It is the first time PIJ has released video confirmation that it — and not just Hamas — is holding hostages.