More than a fifth of hostages in Gaza are dead say Israeli authorities

Families of 32 dead hostages have been informed


Kfir Bibas, the youngest hostage at 9 months old

Israeli intelligence officials have said at least 32 of the remaining 136 hostages held captive in Gaza by Hamas have died since the start of the war. The number amounts to over a fifth of the hostages held by the terror group and its allies.

The revised figure is higher than any previous number that the Israeli authorities have publicly disclosed. In January, it was reported that 25 hostages had been killed in captivity.

Israel has always included dead hostages in its count of total people held captive in Gaza.

The New York Times reported the latest assessment when it spoke to four anonymous military officials, who confirmed that the families of 32 hostages had been informed of the deaths.

More than 240 hostages were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and militants from other groups including Palestinian Islamic Jihad on October 7.

Approximately half of the hostages were released by the terror group during a temporary ceasefire in November.

One-year-old, Kfir Bibas and his brother Ariel, are the youngest hostages still held by Hamas. The terror group reported their death earlier in the war, but many hoped that the Bibas boys were still alive. It is not known if the 32 figure includes Kfir or Ariel. 
Israel has accused Hamas of “psychological torment” with the release of videos showing the hostages being held.

The disclosure of 32 dead hostages is expected to escalate tensions in Israel, intensifying the ongoing debate between the families of the hostages and the government.

The news also comes as hostage negotiations were reported to be progressing. Last week, Qatar's Foreign Ministry announced that Hamas had given "initial positive confirmation" to a proposed deal that would involve the release of hostages and a temporary cessation of fighting in Gaza. However, the deal has yet to be finalized.

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