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Report: Hamas doesn't have 40 living hostages for cease-fire deal

Hamas has reportedly told negotiators during cease-fire talks in Egypt that it does not have 40 living hostages to exchange.
Posted at 7:29 PM, Apr 10, 2024

Hamas has reportedly told negotiators during cease-fire talks in Egypt that it does not have 40 living hostages to meet Israel's criteria to exchange for Palestinian prisoners, according to CNN.

The militant group took roughly 250 people into the Gaza Strip as hostages, many of whom were women and children, during the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the war with Israel. In November, during the temporary cease-fire, about 120 of them were released. However, CNN reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed on Wednesday that Hamas had 129 hostages, but unfortunately, 33 of them have died. There is new concern that if Hamas' claim about not having 40 living hostages is true, the death toll would be significantly higher.

On Tuesday, Egyptian officials said that the new cease-fire proposal includes a six-week halt in hostilities and the exchange of 40 hostages held by Hamas for a minimum of 700 Palestinians detained by Israel, The Associated Press reported. The proposal also states that Hamas must provide a list of the hostages and their conditions, but Hamas has argued that it can not gather this information while fighting is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden is stepping up his criticism of Israel's handling of the war against Hamas. 

In an interview with Univision on Tuesday, President Biden called for a cease-fire and said Netanyahu's approach to the war is "a mistake." He also brought up the deadly airstrike earlier this month that killed seven workers from the U.S.-based charity World Central Kitchen and called it "outrageous" while noting that Israel needs to provide aid as soon as possible.

"What I'm calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a cease-fire, allow for the next six, eight weeks total access to all food and medicine going into the country. I've spoken with everyone from the Saudis to the Jordanians to the Egyptians. They're prepared to move in. They're prepared to move this food in. And I think there's no excuse to not provide for the medical and the food needs of those people. It should be done now," said President Biden.