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Israel demands names of living hostages as precondition for further truce talks

Israelis attend a rally calling for the release of Israelis held kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in Gaza at "Hostage Square" in Tel Aviv, February 24, 2024. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The news site Axios reported on Friday that Israel demands to receive the names of the remaining living hostages in Gaza as a precondition for further indirect truce talks with the terrorist organization Hamas.

An unnamed Israeli official reportedly told Axios that the mediating Egyptian and Qatari governments had not succeeded in convincing Hamas to present the number and identities of the remaining Israeli hostages being held in Gaza that are still alive

“The mediators promised that Hamas would give numbers and that didn’t happen,” the Israeli official said.

Jerusalem has also called on the mediating countries to pressure Hamas to lower the number of imprisoned terrorists it demands to be released for each Israeli hostage.

“There is no point in starting another round of talks until we receive the lists of which of the hostages are alive and until Hamas gives its answer regarding the ‘ratio’ that defines how many prisoners will be released for each hostage,” the official assessed.

The terror group claimed on Friday that Israeli airstrikes were responsible for the deaths of seven hostages being held in Gaza.

“After examination and scrutiny during recent weeks, we have confirmed the martyrdom of a number of our mujahideen and the killing of seven enemy prisoners in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Zionist bombing,” Hamas announced via its Telegram channel. However, Hamas has a history of inflating numbers and distributing false information. The terrorist group previously claimed that specific hostages had been killed but those individuals later emerged alive in the previous hostage exchange.

Hamas identified three of the allegedly killed hostages as Chaim Gershon Peri (79) Yoram Itak Metzger (80) and Amiram Israel Cooper (85).

Hamas further claimed it would eventually reveal the identities of the remaining four hostages. All three named hostages in Hamas’ message were kidnapped from their homes in Kibbutz Nir Oz, a rural Israeli community close to the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

In December, the three elderly Israeli male hostages were featured in a Hamas propaganda video aimed to increase pressure on the Israeli government to release convicted terrorists from Israeli jails. At the time, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari blasted the video as a "criminal terrorist video."

"It testifies to the cruelty of Hamas towards very old, innocent citizens who need medical treatment. The world must act to transfer medical aid equipment and verify the condition of the abductees," Hagari stated.

Addressing the Israeli public in a televised speech on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed he would insist that the names of all living hostages be received as a precondition for further truce talks.

Netanyahu affirmed that the Jewish state would not give in to Hamas’ “delusional demands.”

“We won’t capitulate to Hamas’s delusional demands,” Netanyahu vowed. “If we capitulate, we simply won’t be here,” he added.

The Israeli leader admitted he was not certain that a new agreement would materialize at this point. However, he pledged that Israel would do everything in its power to bring the hostages home to their families.

“We are determined” to return all the hostages, Netanyahu said, emphasizing “with or without a framework.”

The terrorist organization Hamas and its allies kidnapped around 250 Israeli and international citizens during its lethal Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel. The terrorist groups in Gaza are believed to be holding about 130 hostages as captives in Gaza but it is officially unclear how many of them are still alive.

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

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