Israel said to drop its demand for 40 hostages to 33 after assessing some have died in captivity

Three Israeli officials confirm to The New York Times that Israel has dropped its demand that Hamas free 40 living hostages as part of a truce agreement and will now accept the release of 33 hostages.

One of the officials says the shift was due to assessments that some of the 40 hostages whose release Israel was demanding have died in Hamas captivity.

The numbers relate to hostages in a so-called “humanitarian” designation — women, children, men over 50, and those who are sick.

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