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Tags: israel | hamas | hostages | war | cease-fire | idf

Hamas: Don't Have 40 Israeli Hostages to Release

By    |   Wednesday, 10 April 2024 12:45 PM EDT

Hamas told international mediators that it does not have 40 living Israeli hostages who meet the criteria for the first phase of a cease-fire, an Israeli official and a source familiar with the matter told CNN on Wednesday.

Under the framework developed by negotiators, including Qatar and Egypt, Hamas would be required to release 40 of the remaining hostages during an initial six-week pause in the fighting, including all women as well as sick and elderly men.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners would be released from Israeli jails in exchange for the hostages.

CNN's source said the inability or unwillingness of Hamas to give Israel an indication of which hostages would be released alive is an impediment to making the deal happen.

Given that Hamas is apparently unable to assemble 40 hostages who meet the proposed criteria, Israel has called for the Palestinian militant group to release younger male hostages, including soldiers, the Israeli official told CNN.

In the months and rounds of negotiations since the last cease-fire between the two sides, Israel has continued to press for a list of the hostages and their conditions; Hamas has maintained it needs a break from the fighting to track down those being held captive. A week-long pause in November was prefaced by the same argument from Hamas, before it failed to release more hostages and the cease-fire broke down.

It is believed that the more than 250 hostages captured or killed in Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel are being held by different members and factions of Hamas, as well as gangs, other terror groups and Palestinian families.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said that 33 of the 129 hostages currently being held are dead.

According to CNN, the majority of the remaining living hostages are thought to be male IDF soldiers or men of military age that Hamas is likely to try to use in later stages of the war in an attempt to negotiate more significant concessions from Israel, including an end to the conflict.

The Bibas family is among those believed to still be held in the Gaza Strip after being abducted from their home in Kibbutz Nir Or on Oct. 7. Wife Shiri and sons Kfir and Ariel — who then were 9 months and 4 years old, respectively — were not released during the previous cease-fire, despite the deal requiring that all women and children be set free. Husband Yarden Bibas was reportedly separated from the rest of his family.

In November, Hamas claimed, without evidence, that Shiri, Kfir and Ariel had been killed in an Israeli airstrike.

                                    

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Hamas told international mediators that it does not have 40 living Israeli hostages who meet the criteria for the first phase of a cease-fire, an Israeli official and a source familiar with the matter told CNN on Wednesday.
israel, hamas, hostages, war, cease-fire, idf
432
2024-45-10
Wednesday, 10 April 2024 12:45 PM
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