Over half of the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 may have already perished during their captivity in the Gaza Strip, suggests a somber report by Ha’aretz.

To date, of the estimated 230 hostages taken captive, Israel has successfully rescued 112, including 105 released during a November truce, three rescued by IDF efforts, and four others freed by Hamas directly. Currently, 134 Israelis remain captive in Gaza, with confirmed reports of 36 deceased.

Sources close to Israeli intelligence, as cited by Ha’aretz, paint a grim outlook, estimating that only half of those still held are alive. In February, it was reported that families of the captives were informed about 90 of the 134 were likely alive, with 20 in critical condition. Current estimates suggest the number of survivors might be between 60 and 70.

Israel continues negotiations with Hamas for a potential hostage exchange, with the latest proposal involving the release of about 40 captives in exchange for 700-800 Hamas terrorists currently in Israeli jails. However, Hamas rejected the proposal, demanding a permanent cessation of hostilities and a complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the hostages’ families last week, expressing a firm commitment, saying “I am committed to returning everyone, all of them. I will not leave anyone behind. Only the continuation of the forceful military pressure that we have applied, and will yet apply, will return our hostages, will return everyone.”

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