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Gaza Terror Groups Release Another Hostage Propaganda Video as Israel Investigates Source of Deadly Fire

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Another hostage video released from Gaza as Israel is still investigating a huge fire that killed dozens of Palestinians after an Israeli-targeted bombing in Rafah.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad released a video of a 28-year-old Israeli-Russian hostage.

In the video, he says, "My name is Alexander Trupanov. Israeli citizens who are protesting, in the coming days, you will know the whole truth of what happened to me in "Prisoners Square' in Gaza. I'm asking you to be patient."

Trupanov's mother, grandmother, and partner, who were all kidnapped on October 7th and released during the November exchange, released a statement.

His mother, Yelena Trupanov, said, "Seeing my Sasha on television today is very heartening, but it also breaks my heart that he has been in captivity for such a long time. I appeal to everyone, to all decision-makers, please do everything, absolutely everything, to bring my son and all the hostages home now!"

His girlfriend, Sapir Cohen, declared, "My dear Sasha, we are waiting for you to come back to us, and we are making every possible effort to ensure it happens soon."

According to press reports, Israel made a new proposal for a hostage deal to mediators Qatar and Egypt. The stumbling block has been Hamas' demand to remain in power in Gaza, and to institute a permanent ceasefire and a complete Israeli withdrawal.

That is a non-starter for Israel, which says Hamas must be destroyed.

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As investigations continue, the Israel Defense Forces explained what they know so far about a bombing in Rafah on Sunday and the subsequent fire that reportedly killed dozens of Palestinians staying in a safe zone.

IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari stated, "Despite our efforts to minimize civilian casualties during the strike the fire that broke out was unexpected and unintended. This is a devastating incident which we did not expect. We are investigating what caused the fire that resulted in this tragic loss of life."

The IDF said its strike was nearly a mile from the humanitarian area, and the IDF used small warheads that couldn't have ignited the fire. They were targeting two terrorists who would have killed more Israelis in the future.

"We are looking into all possibilities, including the option that weapons stored in a compound next to our target, which we did not know of, may have ignited as a result of the strike," Hagari said.

He added that Israel is assessing social media posts from Gaza and that a phone conversation between Gazans revealed that one of the callers believed the Israeli missile was small and that a Hamas ammunition warehouse started exploding.

The U.S. is taking flack for not pressing Israel to stop its operations in Rafah. The U.S. responded that Israel has a right to defend itself and there is no U.S. policy change toward the Jewish state.

U.S. National Security Spokesman John Kirby asserted, "If you think Hamas is just gone, they're not gone from Rafah or from Gaza. And if you think they've abandoned their genocidal intent towards the nation of Israel, think again. They haven't. So, Israel has every right to not want to live next to that kind of threat. And yes, we're going to continue to provide them the capabilities to go after it."

Meanwhile, it's not clear what condition the U.S.-constructed humanitarian aid pier for Gaza is in. Parts of it broke off in stormy seas several days ago and washed ashore south of the Israeli port city of Ashdod, where workers were trying to remove it from the beach on Wednesday.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and