Israel shoots down report only 40 hostages still alive

The IDF has confirmed that 34 of those taken to Gaza on Oct. 7 are dead, and others are feared to be no longer alive.

By JNS

The Shin Bet denied a report on Sunday by the British Daily Mail that intelligence gathered by Israel’s internal security service is leading to fears that only 40 hostages out of the 133 being held by Hamas in Gaza are alive.

According to the report from the London-based tabloid, a dwindling number of captives have survived after 253 were kidnapped during the Hamas-led rampage across the northwestern Negev on Oct. 7.

The report cites the Shin Bet and anonymous sources to make the claim.

“The publication in question is not true and does not represent the opinion of the Shin Bet,” the agency said.

“The numbers mentioned in the article are based on the writer’s opinion only and are not based on information from the Shin Bet.”

The IDF has confirmed that 34 of those taken to Gaza on Oct. 7 are dead, and others are feared to be no longer alive.

A total of 1,200 mostly civilians were murdered and thousands of others were wounded during the attack, which included widespread atrocities.

A truce reached last November saw 105 captives released, with three other hostages freed in military rescue operations and four freed separately.

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The bodies of 12 hostages have been recovered, including three mistakenly killed by the Israeli military.

Negotiations to release the rest of the hostages have been going on for months.

They have been mediated by the Americans, Egyptians and Qataris with the involvement of the Israelis and the Hamas terrorist group and have taken place in Cairo, Doha and Paris.

“Negotiating is a lost cause. We cannot possibly negotiate dead bodies for the release of hundreds or thousands more terrorists,” a security source told the Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, Israel’s War Cabinet will convene on Sunday evening to discuss the deadlock in hostage release negotiations following the response by Hamas to a U.S. proposal.

The meeting was supposed to take place last week but was postponed due to the Iranian attack on Israel.

The meeting is being held at the behest of Ministers-without-Portfolio Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot.