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Release of Hostages Requires Ceasefire, Hamas Official Says

He said Israel's bombing has already killed 50 hostages

A Hamas official tied the release of hostages held in Gaza to a ceasefire in Israel's bombardment of the enclave, launched after a deadly rampage by Hamas militants into southern Israel nearly three weeks ago.

Israel says it is preparing a ground invasion, but has been urged by the U.S. and Arab countries to delay an operation that would multiply the number of civilian casualties in the densely populated coastal strip and might ignite a wider conflict.

Two U.S. fighter jets struck weapons and ammunition facilities in Syria on Friday in retaliation for attacks on U.S. forces by Iranian-backed militias since the Gaza war erupted.

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