The number of confirmed hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Israel Defense Forces has increased to 203.
The families have been informed, according to IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, who also emphasized that the number will probably increase as the military learns more.
Hagari observed that while some of the announcements were made with high confidence, others were made with low to moderate confidence. It has been confirmed to other relatives of missing Israelis that their loved ones are not hostages.
Many Israelis are still missing, nearly two weeks after Hamas attacked Israeli villages along the Gaza border on October 7. While forensic specialists are working around the clock to identify bodies, the IDF is still conducting searches close to the Gaza border.
The attacks resulted in over 1,400 Israeli deaths and nearly 4,600 more injuries. Families of the prisoners have voiced their outrage over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s acceptance on Wednesday of water, food, and medicine deliveries to Gaza through Egypt.
According to the Bring Them Home Now organization, which speaks for the relatives of the detainees, “the decision to allow humanitarian aid to the murderers of Gaza has caused great anger among the family members.”
According to the statement, “the government of Israel is treating the murderers to baklava and medicine, while children, babies, women, soldiers, men, and the elderly—some of whom have serious health issues, are wounded… are being held underground like animals without any human conditions.”
The main purpose of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza is to allow people to cross. The Kerem Shalom crossing, which is near the Egyptian and Gazan borders and which Israel has closed for security concerns, is typically used for commercial goods to Gaza.
Since Hamas’ attack on October 7, Israel has been attacking Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip and has gathered a sizable ground force on the Gaza border in preparation for a ground operation against the terrorist organization.