Hamas says of hostages: ‘We don’t know who’s alive or dead’

Hamas official says ceasefire needed in order for terror group to ascertain health, locations of kidnapped Israelis.

By World Israel News Staff

A senior Hamas official admitted to international media on Monday that the terror group is unable to provide Israel with a list of the living hostages – one of the conditions for a potential ceasefire deal – because it is unaware of the health and location of many of the hostages being held in the Gaza Strip.

Basem Naim, a Hamas representative, told AFP that “we don’t know exactly who’s alive or dead.”

Some of the hostages may have been “killed because of [Israeli] strikes or hunger,” he said, placing the blame for their potential deaths on Jerusalem.

Naim avoided acknowledging the possibility that some hostages were murdered by their captors or died because they did not receive proper medical care for wounds they sustained in the Oct. 7th terror onslaught.

In a subsequent interview with the BBC, Naim claimed that the kidnapped Israelis are “in different areas” of the Gaza Strip and being held by “different groups.”

Notably, Shiri Bibas and her two children are believed to have been captured and held by a terror group other than Hamas.

As the governing authority in the Strip, Israel has repeatedly stressed that it holds Hamas ultimately responsible for the fate of the hostages.

He said that the terror group “have asked for a ceasefire to collect that data,” meaning to ascertain which of the hostages have survived and where they are located.

However, Naim contradicted his own claim later in the interview, saying that any details about the hostages was “valuable” and couldn’t be given to Israel “for free,” insinuating that Hamas was withholding the information as a bargaining chip during negotiations for a ceasefire.

Israel has maintained that it will not agree to continue negotiations for a six-week pause in fighting until it receives critical information about which hostages are alive or dead.