Hamas official: ‘We don’t know which of the hostages are dead or alive’

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Hamas official Basem Naim said on Monday to the Anglo-France-Presse (AFP) that the terror group did not know which of the hostages were dead or alive. 

Basem also added that the hostages were held by many terror groups in many different locations in the Gaza Strip.

According to Basem, a ceasefire is necessary for Hamas to ascertain how many and which hostages it is still holding.

The same Hamas official, in an interview with the BBC, said that the hostages “are in different areas with different groups” and Hamas “have asked for a ceasefire to collect that data [on which hostages are alive and where.]”

Continuing the BBC interview, Naim asserted that information relating to the hostages was “valuable” and could not be given “for free.”

An image taken from a Hamas video claiming the death of seven hostages. March 1, 2024. (credit: Screenshot/Hamas Telegram)

Information on hostages being withheld

Hamas, in an unsubstantiated statement on Friday, announced that seven hostages had been killed but announced the names of only 3.

Gershon Peri, 79, Yoram Itak Metzger, 80, and Amiram Israel Cooper, 85 were announced as dead on Friday afternoon. Earlier in the day, Hamas released a video where they proposed three scenarios regarding the fates of the hostages. In the first, all had been killed, in the second some had been killed and others wounded, and in the third, all were still alive.

All three men, kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, had also appeared in a video released by Hamas in December. 

The information provided by Hamas is unconfirmed, and Hamas has previously shared false information on the well-being of hostages as part of its use of psychological warfare. Hamas has previously named a hostage as killed only to later release them, as was the case of Hannah Katzir. 

Read More: Hamas official: ‘We don’t know which of the hostages are dead or alive’

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