At least 274 Palestinians killed during Israeli raid that rescued 4 hostages: Gaza Health Ministry

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At least 274 Palestinians were killed Saturday in an Israeli raid that rescued four hostages held by Hamas, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The Israel Defense Forces, along with two other units, conducted a special operation on Saturday from two separate locations in Nuseirat in central Gaza. The operation, which included a heavy air and ground assault, marked Israel’s largest rescue operations since its war with Hamas began last October, the Associated Press reported.

The Gaza Health Ministry on Sunday said at least 274 people were killed and nearly 700 others were wounded in Saturday’s operation. More than 37,000 individuals in Gaza have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory campaign since the war began, health officials added.

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Hamas is believed to be still holding more than 100 hostages in the Gaza Strip, with more than 30 of them believed to be dead.

The U.S.-designated terrorist group kidnapped more than 250 people from southern Israel during its surprise Oct. 7 assault, in which about 1,200 people were killed. About 100 hostages were released in a week-long cease-fire deal last November.

President Biden on Saturday celebrated the rescue of the four hostages, pledging that the U.S. “won’t stop” until all of the hostages are returned and a cease-fire deal is reached.

On Sunday, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan noted that U.S. forces were involved in Saturday’s operation.

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When asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” about the reported deaths, Sullivan said the U.S. is not in the position to “make a definitive statement” about the number.

“The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has put out another number. But we do know this…innocent people were tragically killed in this operation. The exact number we don’t know, but innocent people were killed. And that is heartbreaking. That is tragic,” Sullivan said Sunday.

Sullivan, in a separate interview Sunday on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” called on Hamas to respond and accept the terms of an Israeli-proposed cease-fire and hostage release.

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The proposal includes a three-part road map to end the fighting and release the remaining hostages. It was transmitted to Hamas via Qatar, but the U.S.-designated terrorist organization has yet to formally respond, Sullivan said.

“If Hamas would say yes to that deal, there would be a cease-fire in place, hostages would be coming home, more humanitarian aid would be surging in, and a better day for the Palestinian people would be- would begin to unfold,” Sullivan said.

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