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IDF says quarter of hostages dead; Hamas pushes 135-day cease-fire

Feb 7

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As the Israeli military continues striking Gaza to eliminate Hamas terrorists and find Israeli hostages, Israeli intelligence officials believe a quarter of the remaining hostages have died in captivity. The Israel Defense Forces concludes at least 31 of the 136 remaining hostages from the Oct. 7 attack are now dead.

The IDF believes some of those hostages were killed in Israel during the Oct. 7 massacre and their bodies were taken to Gaza. During the massacre, Hamas militants took more than 240 hostages. More than 100 hostages have been released since the attack, with most releases taking place during November’s temporary cease-fire.

During the week of Feb. 4, mediators in Qatar and Egypt put forward a new cease-fire proposal, hoping to free any remaining hostages and bring an end to the war.

Hamas submitted its response, which Israel is reportedly looking over. According to Reuters, Hamas’ plan consists of a 135-day cease-fire with hostages freed in three phases. Each phase of the plan would last 45 days.

During the first phase, all Israeli female hostages, children under 19, and the elderly and sick, would all be released. In exchange, hundreds of female and underage Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails would be freed by Israel.

The second phase would initiate the release of all male Israeli hostages. In exchange, IDF soldiers must completely withdraw from Gaza.

During the final phase, all bodies and remains would be released. By the end of the 135-day cease-fire, Hamas expects the war to be done.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is meeting with Israeli leaders and mediators in the Middle East to help broker the deal.

“The hostages are foremost on our minds and in our hearts,” Blinken said while meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog. “And as you know, we now have a response from Hamas to the proposal that was put on the table. The way forward, we’re looking at it intensively, as is, I know the government of Israel and there’s a lot of work to be done, but we are very much focused on doing that work and hopefully being able to resume the release of hostages.”

Meanwhile, IDF soldiers are exposing more of a Hamas tunnel complex beneath Khan Younis. On X, the Israel Defense Forces posted a photo of a make-shift cell within a tunnel. The Israeli military said Hamas leaders hid and held hostages in the cell amid humid and smelly conditions, according to CNN.

The IDF believes at least 12 Israeli hostages were kept in that cell after the October attack based on DNA samples and witness testimony.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, Feb. 7, that he told Blinken surrendering to Hamas would bring disaster and that Israel’s goal is complete victory over Hamas to secure Gaza and make sure it remains a safe area forever.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]
AS THE IDF CONTINUES STRIKING GAZA IN ITS QUEST TO ELIMINATE HAMAS TERRORISTS AND FIND ISRAELI HOSTAGES – ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS BELIEVE A QUARTER OF THE REMAINING HOSTAGES HAVE DIED IN CAPTIVITY.

THE IDF CONCLUDES AT LEAST 31 OF 136 REMAINING HOSTAGES FROM THE OCTOBER SEVENTH ATTACKS ARE NOW DEAD AND HAD NOTIFIED THEIR FAMILIES.

IT’S BELIEVED SOME OF THOSE HOSTAGES WERE KILLED IN ISRAEL DURING THE OCTOBER 7TH HAMAS ATTACK AND THEIR BODIES TAKEN TO GAZA.

DURING THE MASSACRE – HAMAS MILITANTS TOOK MORE THAN 240 HOSTAGES.

SINCE OCTOBER 7TH – MORE THAN 100 HOSTAGES HAVE BEEN RELEASED. MOST DURING A TEMPORARY CEASEFIRE IN NOVEMBER.

THIS WEEK, ANOTHER MEDIATORS IN QATAR AND EGYPT PUT FORWARD A NEW CEASEFIRE PROPOSAL HOPING TO FREE ANY REMAINING HOSTAGES AND BRING AND END TO THE WAR.

HAMAS HAS SUBMITTED ITS RESPONSE, WHICH ISRAEL IS REPORTEDLY LOOKING OVER.ACCORDING TO REUTERS THE HAMAS PLAN –
WOULD BE A 135-DAY LONG TRUCE.
WITH HOSTAGES FREED IN THREE PHASES – EACH LASTING 45 DAYS.

DURING THE FIRST PHASE —
ALL ISRAELI FEMALE HOSTAGES, CHILDREN UNDER UNDER 19, THE ELDERLY AND SICK – WOULD ALL BE RELEASED.

IN EXCHANGE – HUNDREDS OF FEMALE AND UNDERAGE PALESTINIAN SECURITY PRISONERS IN ISRAELI JAILS WOULD BE FREED BY ISRAEL.

THE SECOND PHASE WOULD SEE THE RELEASE OF ALL MALE HOSTAGES.

IN EXCHANGE – IDF SOLDIERS WOULD ALSO HAVE TO COMPLETELY WITHDRAW FROM GAZA.

DURING THE FINAL PHASE – ALL BODIES AND REMAINS WOULD BE RELEASED.

AND BY THE END OF THE 135-DAY CEASEFIRE – HAMAS EXPECTS THE WAR TO BE DONE.

U-S SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN IS MEETING WITH ISRAELI LEADERS AND MEDIATORS IN THE MIDDLE EAST THIS WEEK – HELPING TO BROKER THE DEAL.

[ANTONY BLINKEN / U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE]
“The hostages are foremost on our minds and in our hearts. And as you know, we now have a response from Hamas to the proposal that was put on the table. The way forward, we’re looking at it intensively, as is I know the government of Israel and there’s a lot of work to be done, but we are very much focused on doing that work and hopefully being able to resume the release of hostages.”

[LAUREN TAYLOR]

MEANWHILE –
IDF SOLDIERS EXPOSE MORE OF A HAMAS TUNNEL COMPLEX BENEATH KHAN YOUNIS.

IN THIS PICTURE POSTED TO THE OFFICIAL “ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES” ACCOUNT ON X – YOU CAN SEE A MAKE-SHIFT CELL WITHIN A TUNNEL.

THE ISRAELI MILITARY SAYS – THIS IS ONE PLACE WHERE HAMAS LEADERS HID OUT AND HELD HOSTAGES – AMID HUMID AND SMELLY CONDITIONS – ACCORDING TO CNN.

THE IDF BELIEVES – AT LEAST 12 ISRAELI HOSTAGES WERE KEPT HERE AFTER THE OCTOBER 7TH ATTACK – BASED ON DNA SAMPLES AND WITNESS TESTIMONY.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAID WEDNESDAY THAT HE TOLD BLINKEN THAT SURRENDERING TO HAMAS WOULD BRING DISASTER AND THAT ISRAEL’S GOAL IS COMPLETE VICTORY OVER HAMAS – TO SECURE GAZA AND MAKE SURE IT REMAINS A SAFE AREA FOREVER.

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