Israeli officials on Thursday’s night made the grim admission that they do not know how many Hamas hostages are still alive after being taken underground a month ago.
The officials, speaking at a screening of the Hamas atrocity at the Consulate in New York, made a public plea for ‘two way’ humanitarian aid to rescue the hostages while the world calls for a ceasefire to save remaining Gazan civilians.
Lt. Commander Jonathan Conricus, speaking from Tel Aviv via Zoom, said of the 1.1million civilians in Gaza, between 850,000 and 900,000 have fled northern Gaza.
‘Yesterday, 50,000 evacuated the region between 9am and 2pm,’ he said.
Those figures have not been confirmed by Palestinian officials, who today said the civilian death toll is now at 11,000.
How many hostages were taken from Israel by Hamas fighters?
More than 200 hostages were taken from Israel by Hamas fighters on October 7.
The youngest is a ten-month-old baby.
Hamas has released video footage of some of the hostages to serve as proof of life, and said last week they were ‘ready’ to allow some to return home after relentless airstrikes.
‘The health of the majority of the hostages remains unknown.
‘We have some intelligence that we’re not sharing but it’s largely a black hole. They have been split into groups but we don’t know how. Hamas will not even give us their names.
‘There are 10 people who we still cannot say whether they have been killed or kidnapped because the bodies of those murdered are so badly burned,’ Aviv Ezra, Acting Consul General of Israel in New York, said.
What is humanitarianism?
‘Israel is calling for the hostages to be freed in the four-hour, daily humanitarian pauses that were yesterday agreed upon.
‘Humanitarianism is a two-way street. We are not even being given the most basic information – the names of the hostages – but we are creating humanitarian pauses for Palestinian civilians and delivering aid.
‘Why can’t the Red Cross go in and ensure our citizens have access to food, water, aid?’ Itay Milner, spokesperson for the consulate in New York, said.