In a video his office released, he said that recovering the hostages was an "integral" part of the military's goals. Israel has been bombarding the Gaza Strip, which Palestinian militant group Hamas controls, since Hamas waged a deadly Oct. 7 assault that targeted army outposts and civilian communities in the area and killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians. Hamas took more than 200 hostages, including children, back into Gaza during its raids. Israel said on Wednesday that more than half the hostages held by Hamas have foreign passports from 25 different countries. The hostages are believed to be hidden in the Gaza Strip, possibly in a warren of tunnels Hamas has built there.