Hamas claims to have freed Israeli woman, two children

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Gaza City, Palestinian Territories, Oct 11 (AFP/APP):Palestinian Freedom Fighter group Hamas claimed Wednesday to have released an Israeli woman and her two children it said had been detained during fighting with Israeli forces, but Israeli television networks rejected the announcement.
              The Israeli army when contacted said it was checking the claim.
              "An Israeli settler and her two children were released after they were detained during the clashes," Ezzedine al-Qassem Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in a statement referring to the group's brutal assault on Israel on Saturday.
              Video footage aired by Hamas television Al-Aqsa network showed a woman dressed in a blue shirt with two children in a barbed-wired area that appeared to be between Israel and the Gaza Strip, while three Hamas fighters are seen walking away.
              The footage did not show any military personnel receiving the three, and the clip appeared to have been filmed in daylight.
              AFP could not verify the authenticity of the footage independently.
              Israeli television channels rejected Hamas's claim, saying the woman and the two children were never taken to the Gaza Strip by Hamas fighters after they launched the deadly assault.
              The channels identified the woman as Avital Aladjem, a resident of kibbutz Holit, who had told in a series of interviews this week that she had been taken by force by Hamas militants along with two children of her neighbour to a border area between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
              She then said that a group of fighters later let her go with the children.
              Around 150 people were taken hostage by Hamas during Saturday's assault, according to Israeli officials.
              No official release of hostages held by Hamas has so far occurred.