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Israel reports that over 20% of the hostages remaining in Gaza have died

WorldIsrael reports that over 20% of the hostages remaining in Gaza have died

An internal assessment conducted by the Israeli military reveals that more than a fifth of the remaining hostages held in Gaza have died.

According to Israeli intelligence officers, at least 32 out of the remaining 136 hostages captured by Hamas and its allies on October 7 have perished since the commencement of the conflict. This confidential assessment, reviewed by The New York Times, has resulted in the notification of the families of these deceased hostages, as confirmed by four military officials who spoke anonymously due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Furthermore, the officers are currently evaluating unconfirmed intelligence suggesting that an additional 20 hostages may have also been killed. The disclosed figure of 32 exceeds any previous number publicly acknowledged by Israeli authorities regarding the number of deceased hostages. The Israeli military, in response to a request for comment, indicated that the majority of the casualties occurred on October 7.

This development is expected to intensify the debate within Israel concerning the government’s strategy in Gaza regarding the hostages, which has become increasingly divisive.

More than 240 hostages were initially taken by Hamas and its allies during the Hamas-led raid on southern Israel on October 7, prompting Israel to retaliate with extensive airstrikes followed by a ground invasion.

Approximately half of the hostages have since been released, primarily during a temporary truce in November, which involved the exchange of hostages for 240 Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in Israeli jails.

Subsequent to this truce, the Israeli government has emphasized that its military operations in Gaza aim to facilitate further hostage releases. Officials contend that each military success by Israel increases pressure on Hamas to negotiate additional exchanges and enhances the military’s capability to forcibly rescue remaining captives.

However, numerous survivors and families of hostages have expressed concerns that the ongoing military campaign poses a threat to the lives of their loved ones. They urge the government to prioritize reaching a new hostage agreement instead of continuing the invasion, fearing that their relatives may be killed in the crossfire. To date, only one hostage has been freed through an Israeli military rescue operation, while at least three others were accidentally killed by Israeli soldiers.

In response to inquiries, the Israeli military stated that it is “utilizing all available resources to locate and retrieve as much information as possible regarding the hostages currently held by Hamas.”

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