Hamas uncertain how many hostages are alive or their locations

US officials said that although it is ‘difficult to say for certain,’ how many hostages are alive, there are likely more dead than have been previously reported.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Hamas has admitted that it is not certain how many hostages are still alive or their precise locations.

With hostage negotiations at a standstill, Hamas has still not provided Israel with a list of living hostages as requested.

Hamas insists on a permanent ceasefire and has ruled out a proposal for a 6-week pause in fighting, and the release of 35 to 40 hostages in exchange for the release of hundreds of jailed Palestinian terrorists.

One apparent reason for the standstill is that Hamas is not sure if the demanded number of hostages are still alive or where the captives are.

Last week, Hamas offered to release 20 hostages.

Since then, senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said “We do not know how many Israeli prisoners are alive or dead at the moment.”

In earlier negotiations, Hamas has demanded that the ceasefire be in place for a period of time  before the release of hostages, admitting they would need the time to locate them.

Although there has been some suspicion that Hamas is bluffing or denying they know details about the hostages to gain leverage or to wage psychological warfare, their lack of information about the hostages may reflect the reality.

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US officials told NBC News that they didn’t know how many of the 133 hostages held in Gaza are still alive, and estimated that around one-fourth may be dead.

Officials said that although it is “difficult to say for certain,” how many hostages are alive, there are likely more dead than have been previously reported.

The official added, “No one reliable has this information. It’s all speculation.”

An anonymous relative of one of the hostages said the US indicated they knew where some of the hostages were, but added that the terrorists keep moving the captives from place to place.

The US government has said that there are five US hostages still held in Gaza, and although they have more information about some than others, it remains unclear how many of the five are still alive.

Hamas and other terror groups are also holding the bodies of hostages who died on October 7th and also those who have died in captivity.