The majority of the 200 people held hostage by the Hamas militant group in Israel and taken to the Gaza Strip are still alive, the Israeli army said in a statement on Friday.
“The majority of the hostages are alive. There were also dead bodies that were taken… to the Gaza Strip,” the statement read.
The military further said that out of the hostages, more than 20 were children, while between 10 and 20 were over the age of 60.
There are also between 100 and 200 people considered missing since the Hamas attacks, the army further added.
Last week, the Israeli military, released a statement saying that they had found the bodies of some of the hostages abducted by the Hamas militant group during their operations inside Gaza.
“We have found and located some bodies of Israelis who were abducted in the perimeter in the Gaza Strip,” a military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, told a briefing.
Since Hamas launched an unprecedented attack against Israel on Oct 7, the Israeli army has orchestrated “localised” raids inside Gaza to support an air offensive on the territory that the Hamas government says has killed more than 2000 people.
Lerner said the bodies of hostages were found on these “small, close-perimeter raids into the Gaza Strip”.
The Israeli military has carried out air raids on thousands of Hamas targets in Gaza, said the spokesman.
“They include quality targets such as drone facilities, they include naval facilities, they include command and control facilities, they include all of the rocket facilities,” Lerner said.
“Our assessment suggests that at this time Hamas are in a state of disarray, they have no idea what the situation is above ground, they have escaped into the tunnels.”
‘Any help from New Delhi is welcome’ for release of hostages, says Israel envoy to India
Israel’s Ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, while speaking to Indian Express, stated that Israel would welcome any help from India for the release of over 200 Israeli hostages, including several foreign nationals.
He further said that Israel was “moved that the first reaction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi came on the same afternoon, even before the full picture was out”.
Gilon added that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi again “expressed solidarity” after speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a few days later. He said, “Not just the Indian PM, we have got a show of support from all levels here — officials, ministers, civil society, and even people on social media.”