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IDF releases Hamas ‘psychological terror’ video showing young hostages

As the war between Israel and Hamas passes the seven-month mark, new negotiations are underway to secure the release of hostages taken by the terrorist organization, as Israeli forces continue to prepare for an apparent invasion of the town of Rafah, in southern Gaza.

Latest developments

May 19, 5:18 p.m.

IDF releases footage of young Israeli hostages it says were forced to film Hamas video under duress

The Israeli military on Sunday released raw video footage its troops said was captured in Gaza showing Ela Elyakim, 8, a former Israeli hostage, and her sister Dafna Elyakim, 15, being forced by Hamas terrorists to film Many times.

PHOTO: The Israeli Defense Forces released a video on May 19, 2024, showing former Israeli hostages, 8-year-old Ela Elyakim, and her 15-year-old sister, Dafna Elyakim, being forced by Hamas terrorists to film over and over again .  (IDF document/Hamas video)PHOTO: The Israeli Defense Forces released a video on May 19, 2024, showing former Israeli hostages, 8-year-old Ela Elyakim, and her 15-year-old sister, Dafna Elyakim, being forced by Hamas terrorists to film over and over again .  (IDF document/Hamas video)

PHOTO: The Israeli Defense Forces released a video on May 19, 2024, showing former Israeli hostages, 8-year-old Ela Elyakim, and her 15-year-old sister, Dafna Elyakim, being forced by Hamas terrorists to film over and over again . (IDF document/Hamas video)

“The video, which is being released today for the first time, was intended to be used by Hamas for psychological terror,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesman, said in a statement. “But Ela’s family asked us to share it with the world to denounce the terror of Hamas, to denounce the cruelty of Hamas, to denounce the barbarity of Hamas.”

Hagari said the raw footage of the girls recording the video was recovered by IDF troops during Israeli ground operations in Gaza.

The Elyakim sisters were kidnapped on October 7 from their father’s house in Nahal Oz, according to the Israeli army. Their father was killed during the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas terrorists, according to the IDF.

Ela and Dafana Elyakim were held hostage for 51 days before Hamas released them as part of a previous hostage deal, the Israeli military said.

Ela Elyakim told IDF officials that Hamas terrorists forced her to read a script and made her change her clothes several times while they refilmed the video over and over, according to Hagari.

“We will continue to do everything in our power to bring our hostages home,” Hagari said.

-Victoria Beaule of ABC News

May 18, 11:34 p.m.

Republican Rep. Stefanik to visit Knesset and denounce Biden on gun pause

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York will deliver remarks Sunday in the Israeli Knesset, according to her office. Stefanik will be the highest-ranking House member to visit Israel following the Oct. 7 attack.

Stefanik plans to criticize President Joe Biden for recently cutting off some of his military aid to Israel, according to excerpts of his speech reviewed by ABC News.

“I have been clear at home, and I will be clear here: there is no excuse for an American president to block aid to Israel,” Stefanik will say during his speech.

Biden announced that the United States would suspend some bomb deliveries to Israel over concerns they could be used in Rafah, but the Biden administration informed Congress that it was moving forward with more than a billion dollars in new arms deals with Israel.

PHOTO: Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., call on the Senate to pass the Support for Israeli security assistance during a press conference on May 16, 2024 in Washington, DC (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)PHOTO: Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., call on the Senate to pass the Support for Israeli security assistance during a press conference on May 16, 2024 in Washington, DC (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

PHOTO: Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., call on the Senate to pass the Support for Israeli security assistance during a press conference on May 16, 2024 in Washington, DC (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The congresswoman will discuss the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States, the support of Republicans in the House of Representatives for Israel and will even mention her close ally, former President Donald Trump.

“I have been a leading supporter and partner of President Trump in his historic support for Israeli independence and security,” Stefanik will say.

-Lauren Peller of ABC News

May 18, 6:14 p.m.

Three US medical workers remain in Gaza despite US government warning

Three American medical professionals remain in Gaza despite warnings from the US State Department that the US government may not be able to get them out later.

Tamer Hassan, a registered nurse, Dr. Jomana Al-Hinti and Dr. Adam Hamawy were the only ones among a group of 20 American medical professionals to stay behind to help care for the patients.

“They understand that the U.S. Embassy may not be able to facilitate their departure in the same way that we just did today,” a person with knowledge of the situation told ABC News.

PHOTO: A Palestinian woman receives medical treatment at the European Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 17, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and the militant group Hamas.  (AFP via Getty Images)PHOTO: A Palestinian woman receives medical treatment at the European Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 17, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and the militant group Hamas.  (AFP via Getty Images)

PHOTO: A Palestinian woman receives medical treatment at the European Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 17, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and the militant group Hamas. (AFP via Getty Images)

Hamawy released a statement on Saturday explaining why he remained behind.

“We fear that the European hospital we are currently in will suffer the same fate as Al-Shifa and Nasser hospitals, where aid workers, patients and civilians were massacred,” he said.

“To my wife, my daughters, and my son, I know it hurts not to come home this weekend, and I’m sorry. But I know you are proud that I am keeping my oath not to never leave anyone behind,” he added.

The doctors who left Gaza “managed to reach safety with the assistance of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem,” a State Department spokesperson said.

-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty, Nadine Shubailat and Zoe Magee

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