Hamas Allegedly Does Not Have 40 Hostages to Fulfill Ceasefire First Round Requirements

According to an Israeli official and sources familiar with the matter, Hamas has indicated that they do not presently have 40 living hostages which fulfill the requirements for the first round of the Israeli proposed temporary ceasefire.

An Unclear Meaning

For the first round of the Israeli proposed ceasefire, which is currently being negotiated by both sides and international mediators in Cairo, Egypt, Hamas is to release 40 hostages. These hostages are to be the remaining women still held by Hamas, as well as those who are sick and the elderly.

However, according to sources involved in ceasefire negotiations, Hamas has stated that they presently do not have 40 living hostages that fit the first round criteria.

While this can mean many things, there is a fear that has arisen that this means a large portion of the approximately 100 hostages still believed to be alive, are actually dead.

The lack of availability of hostages fitting these criteria could additionally mean that Hamas is merely having difficulty tracking and properly identifying remaining hostages, or that they have hostages which fit the criteria, just not quite 40. If Hamas is unable to produce 40 hostages fitting these criteria, Israel has apparently requested that younger male hostages, including IDF personnel, be released in order to hit the number of 40.

Israel has publicly stated that they believe 33 of the 129 remaining hostages within Gaza have died. If the issues Hamas is facing with providing a proper amount of living hostages are in fact due to a large amount of them having died, it would represent a significant gap in Israeli intelligence.

Hamas has argued in negotiations that it needs a break in fighting in order to gather hostages for the release.

Israel has stated they believe most of the remaining hostages, alongside most of Hamas’ remaining militants, to be within the south Gaza city of Rafah.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.

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