Israel Palestine Conflict

Hamas leader says unsure how many hostages are still alive in Gaza

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
3 min read

A Hamas leader said Monday that the Palestinian movement doesn’t know how many of the hostages forced to the Gaza Strip in its October 7 attack on Israel are still alive.

“Of the prisoners, we don’t know exactly who among them are alive or dead, killed because of strikes or hunger,” Bassem Naim, a senior Hamas leader, told AFP from Cairo.

“There are prisoners held by numerous groups in multiple places” across the Palestinian territory, he said, nearly five months into the war between Hamas and Israel.

For the latest updates on the Israel-Palestine conflict, visit our dedicated page.

Naim, a former health minister in Gaza, said that “a ceasefire is necessary so that we can carry out (checks) on this issue... regarding the names, numbers and their status whether alive or dead.”

The issue of hostages is central to the ongoing negotiations in Cairo for a truce in Gaza.

Qatari and Egyptian mediators were engaged in discussions with United States and Hamas envoys for the second day of talks on Monday.

Israel’s government has refused to send its delegation to the Cairo talks, stating they had not been given a list of living hostages by Hamas, according to Israeli media reports.

Naim, however, said that details on the status of the prisoners “were not mentioned in any documents or proposals circulated during the negotiation process”.

Around 250 hostages were taken to the Gaza Strip during the October 7 attack, and Israeli officials say 130 captives are still being held there, including 31 presumed dead.

On Friday Hamas said that seven more hostages seized during its attack had died because of Israeli military operations in Gaza. AFP could not independently confirm the information.

In December, Israel’s military announced that soldiers killed three hostages by mistake, believing they posed a threat.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Hamas’s October 7 attack resulted in the deaths of around 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli data.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza has killed at least 30,534 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s ministry of health.

Read more:

Families of Israeli hostages in Gaza launch 4-day march to demand their freedom

Israeli hostages will only return after Hamas is destroyed: Far-right minister

Breakdown: Details of Gaza truce deal, what the Hamas-Israel agreement includes

Top Content Trending