All Israel

Dozens of Israeli hostages ‘certainly alive,’ Israeli hostage negotiator tells AFP

'We cannot leave them there a long time, they will die,' official adds

Israelis attend a rally calling for the release of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, at "Hostage Square" in Tel Aviv, June 15, 2024. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Dozens of the 120 hostages remaining in Hamas captivity are still alive, a senior Israeli negotiator told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday.

Despite Israeli estimates that at least 32 of them are already dead, the anonymous member of Israel’s negotiating team said dozens “are alive with certainty,” but cautioned, “We cannot leave them there a long time, they will die.”

They are largely being held directly by Hamas terrorists, he said, in contrast to the four hostages the IDF freed recently, who were held by civilian Hamas supporters in their homes.

The hostage deal negotiations recently hit another dead end, as Hamas reportedly continues to demand a commitment to end the war before agreeing to release the Israeli hostages.

However, the senior negotiator warned that if Israel does not wait until after hostages are released to end the war, Hamas could “breach their commitment” and “drag out the negotiations for 10 years.”

“We cannot, at this point in time – before signing the agreement – commit to ending the war,” he told AFP.

According to another senior Israeli official involved in the negotiations, “Hamas has made substantial changes to dozens of clauses in the outline” which U.S. President Joe Biden presented some weeks ago.

One of the major gaps in the negotiations appears to be the definition of a ceasefire, including how and when it would be implemented by Israel. The official told Ynet News that in light of Hamas’ pattern of violating past agreements, Israel would not agree to make any commitment in advance to ending the war prematurely.

“Israel is not ready to agree to a permanent ceasefire in advance,” he stated. “But it is ready to advance towards a permanent ceasefire, meaning an end of the war.”

According to him, Israel would seek to maintain some leverage to ensure that all hostages – alive and deceased – were released by Hamas within the proposed framework.

Speaking to AFP, the negotiator said his team approved Biden’s proposed hostage release plan and “are waiting for… Hamas to say ‘yes’.”

“In the event we don’t reach an agreement with Hamas, the IDF will continue to fight in the Gaza Strip in a no less intense fashion than it’s fighting now,” he affirmed.

On Monday, tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated at the Knesset, demanding the government secure a hostage release deal.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories