Hamas claims holding more live hostages than Israel says

Terror group source tells Arab news outlet at least 30 IDF soldiers remain kept in far away locations and adds Sinwar has left underground tunnels

A senior Hamas official said on Wednesday the the terror group was holding more live hostages than Israel anticipates. He was quoted in the Qatari owned Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news outlet, on condition of anonymity.
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יחיא סינוואר
יחיא סינוואר
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, footage of Sinwar escaping via underground tunnels in Gaza
(Photo: AP, IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
"Hamas is holding over 30 soldiers (officers, in his words) who were captured on October 7, and are being held and hidden from Israel in highly secure and remote locations. The only way to release them is through serious negotiations - followed by a full commitment for a cease-fire and reconstruction of the Strip."
The official also claimed that Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar was no longer hiding underground. "He recently emerged from the tunnels and met with the organization's fighters in the field, in areas where clashes with the IDF took place," he said.
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משפחות חטופים במחאה סמוך לקריה
משפחות חטופים במחאה סמוך לקריה
Protests calling for the release of hostages in Tel Aviv
(Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay)
"Sinwar briefed the movement's leadership abroad on the situation of the resistance in the Gaza Strip and confirmed the resistance’s strength and its ability to confront the IDF from the field."
The Hamas official’s comments can be seen as intended to increase pressure on Israel and to bring about a deal that would see the release of hostages in exchange for the end to the fighting. They were made against the backdrop of a report in the British Daily Mail, which claimed that the Shin Bet fears that only 40 hostages remain alive.
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