Hamas official says terror group doesn’t know which hostages are still alive

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Illustrative: Israelis rally for the release of hostages held in Gaza, at the Knesset on March 4, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Illustrative: Israelis rally for the release of hostages held in Gaza, at the Knesset on March 4, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In an interview posted today, a Hamas political official tells the BBC that the organization cannot give Israel a list of living hostages because it does not itself know who is alive and where all the hostages are.

“We didn’t until now submit any list,” politburo member Basim Naim tells the BBC from Istanbul in a Sunday conversation. “But first of all, technically and practically, it is now impossible to know exactly who is still alive and who has been killed because of the Israeli bombardment or who has been killed because of starvation because of the Israeli blockade.”

He adds that the hostages “are in different areas with different groups and therefore we have called for a ceasefire to be able to collect the data.”

Naim repeats the Hamas demand that it will not agree to a deal without an end to the war and a full withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza.

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