Who Are the Remaining 136 Gaza Hostages?

Sat Dec 02 2023
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PARIS, France: Over the course of the past week Hamas released 80 Israeli women, children and teenagers as part of a truce agreement in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

The Palestinian militants also freed 25 others outside the scope of the truce deal, most of them Thai farm workers, bringing to 105 the number of captives released during the pause in hostilities.

With five hostages having already been freed before the truce, a total of 110 captives have returned home alive — 33 children, 49 women and 28 men — out of an initial group of around 240.

As Israel resumes its offensive in Gaza, we look at who is still believed to be in captivity.

The Israeli army said Friday that five more hostages had died, bringing the total number to seven, and 136 were still being held.

The government said 125 Israelis, eight Thais, one Nepali, one Tanzanian and a French-Mexican identified as Orion Hernandez-Radoux, 32, by his family.

Baby boy

AFP has managed to identify 110 of the remaining hostages, mainly through interviews with their relatives or Israeli media reports.

It is far from certain that all are alive.

Hamas claims the youngest hostage, 10-month-old Kfir Bibas, was killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza along with his mother Shiri Bibas, 32, and four-year-old brother Ariel.

Israel has yet to confirm the fate of the family, which has come to symbolise the brutality of the hostage-taking.

The Israeli government on Friday confirmed the deaths of two hostages: Noa Marciano, a 19-year-old soldier, and Yehudit Weiss, a 65-year-old woman from Beeri kibbutz.

17 women and children

Besides the Bibas boys, there are no child hostages known to be left in Gaza.

The last minor to be released was 17-year-old Aisha al-Zayadna, who was freed on the final day of the truce on Thursday along with her 18-year-old brother.

Seventeen women and children are still being held in Gaza, including Shiri Bibas.

The oldest are Ofra Keidar and Judith Weinstein Haggai, both aged 70.

The women also include Noa Argamani, a 26-year-old who was filmed screaming “Don’t kill me!” as Hamas militants took her away on a motorbike from the Tribe of Nova desert rave. Argamani appeared in a video from Gaza shortly afterwards, drinking a bottle of water on a couch.

Five women aged 18-19 were performing their military service when they were kidnapped.

As soldiers, they were excluded from the prisoner swap.

Men in their 80s

At least 91 men are still being held, including 10 aged between 18 and 22, most of whom were on military service at the time of the October 7 attack.

Some of the men are fathers of children who were freed with their mothers, relatives or other families in the past week.

They include David Cunio, whose wife Sharon and twin three-year-old daughters Emma and Yuli were released on Monday, along with Tal Shoham, whose wife Adina, son Naveh, eight, and daughter Yahel, three, were released on Saturday.

The father of a French-Israeli boy, 12-year-old Eitan Yahalomi who was returned on Monday to his mother, is still held.

Some of the men are in their 70s and 80s.

Over a month after Hamas released two elderly women, Yocheved Lifshitz and Nurit Kuper, their husbands Oded Lifshitz, 83, and Amiram Kuper, 85, are still also held.

Oded Lifshitz was described by his family as a passionate human rights defender from Nir Oz kibbutz, who used to drive people from Gaza to hospital.

Dozens of ravers

At least 33 people abducted during the Hamas massacre at the Tribe of Nova festival are still held hostage. Only five were released during the truce, including 21-year-old French-Israeli Mia Shem.

Of the others, at least 28 come from Nir Oz kibbutz near the Gaza border, which had at least 71 of its roughly 400 residents abducted. —AFP

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