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Gaza: Only Around Fifty Hostages Are Still Alive

While an Israeli military operation made it possible to free four hostages held by Hamas in Gaza at the beginning of June, many others have been announced dead in recent months, states in a long article the Washington Post. Contrary to what is claimed by Benjamin Netanyahu, their safe return could be at odds with Israel’s war objective of destroying Hamas. Gili Roman, whose sister Yarden Roman Gat was released last November, says: “What’s happening now is that the families have the opposite feeling. It’s a question of who will receive a phone call saying that the body of your loved one has been found or pronounced dead.”

Israelis in Or Yehuda celebrating the release of hostagesLee Ayash/i24NEWS

Of the approximately 250 hostages captured during the Hamas-led attack on October 7, 116 remain detained, many of whom are presumed dead. Mediators of the hostage talks and a U.S. official familiar with the latest U.S. intelligence have said the number of hostages still alive could be as low as 50.

“I think we should be extremely worried,” said Hagai Levine, head of the medical team at the Forum of Families of Hostages and the Missing. “It seems like every week more and more hostages die, are in danger, or become very ill.” Izhar Lifshitz, whose 84-year-old father, Oded Lifshitz, is being held hostage in Gaza, says: “We cling to the hope that he might be alive. But deep down we know that the elderly, injured, captured more than eight months ago, even in Israel, would need to change medications several times, medical treatment and they don’t get that there.

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