Hamas Admits It May Not Have Enough Living Hostages For Ceasefire Deal With Israel

(MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jake Smith Contributor
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Hamas has made an admission that could destroy plans for a ceasefire deal with Israel, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The U.S., Israel and international negotiators have been trying to strike a temporary ceasefire deal with Hamas in exchange for the remaining hostages in Gaza, of which there are over 130, at least 36 of whom are dead, according to current Israeli estimates, as reported by the WSJ. The current deal on the table is for Hamas to free 40 civilian hostages in exchange for a six-week ceasefire and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. (RELATED: Biden Keeps Demanding ‘Ceasefire’ In Gaza War — But Hamas Won’t Accept Deal)

But the terrorist group can’t guarantee that it has enough living civilian hostages to release to meet the terms of the deal, according to the WSJ. Hamas may not be able to release 40 living hostages, but could do a deal with 40 hostages, a Hamas official told the WSJ, meaning they could be alive or dead in captivity.

(Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters accompany newly released Israeli hostages, held since the Hamas’ October 7 attacks, before handing them over to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023 (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

If Hamas can’t release the hostages requested, the ceasefire deal could fall through completely and the current war between the terrorist group and Israel could continue unabated. It also raises fears for the families of the hostages who have been urging the Israeli government to reach a deal so that their loved ones could be released.

“It’s been six months since these people were taken into Gaza. These families have no second in the day or a second in the night that their minds are calm. They are in constant agony,” Ofer Merin, director-general at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and a member of a forensic medical committee, told the WSJ.

(Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

A woman embraces a child while standing between posters of hostages abducted by Palestinian militants during the October 7 attack and currently held in the Gaza Strip, placed next to light bulbs and spotlights as part of an installation consisting of 224 light pillars erected by the Jerusalem municipality as a tribute for them outside Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem on October 26, 2023. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

A workaround for the current ceasefire proposal could be for Hamas to release captured IDF soldiers along with however many civilian hostages Hamas can muster, according to the WSJ. Hamas is hesitant to do this because it wants much higher concessions for the soldiers than it does for civilian hostages.

It is difficult to ascertain the current status of any of the remaining hostages. Hamas originally took over 240 hostages on Oct. 7, and over 100 of them have since been freed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), discovered to be dead or released as part of a previous week-long ceasefire deal in November.

As of February, U.S. and Israeli officials believed that only roughly 80 of the 130 hostages remaining in Gaza were still alive, according to the WSJ. Many hostages previously believed to be alive died during the Hamas attacks against Israel, which killed roughly 1,200 people, and were taken back to Gaza.

The Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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