The Israeli government confirmed on Monday the death of 15 of the 137 hostages still held by the Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office released a statement publishing the names of "15 civilians and soldiers who were killed and are still being held hostage in Gaza."
Among them are Shaked Dahan, Tomer Achims, Kirill Borovsky, Assaf Hammi, Mia Goren, Ofra Kidar, Aryeh Zalmanovitz, Eliyahu Margalit, Ronen Engel, Aviv Azili, Ravid Aryeh Katz, Shani Luke, Oren Goldin, Yonatan Samarno, and Guy Iloz.
Thus, there are still 122 hostages alive in Gaza out of the more than 240 kidnapped by Hamas during its attack on October 7, according to Israeli government figures, which confirmed the death of the 15 hostages based on intelligence information and evidence collected by the troops deployed in the Strip.
A combination of photos of hostages held by Hamas. Photo: Reuters
Among the hostages considered alive are two children, brothers Ariel and Kfir Bibas, aged 4 years and 10 months respectively, who were kidnapped along with their mother Shiri Silverman Bibas - of Argentine origin - and their father Yarden Bibas.
Hamas reported last week that baby Kfir, his baby brother and his mother had been killed in an Israeli strike. And he showed a video of the children's father, who tearfully demands to return to Israel to mourn his wife and children.
Israel has accused Hamas of breaking agreements in a Nov. 24-30 truce by refusing to release Ms. Bibas and her two children, but the Islamist group alleges that those three people were killed by Israeli shelling, that it offered to hand over their bodies and that Israel rejected them.
Thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv to demand that the government rescue all hostages. Photo: Reuters
On Saturday, thousands of people, including some of the hostages who were recently released, rallied in Tel Aviv to demand the government rescue the rest, but Netanyahu has insisted that the priority now is to step up the military offensive in the Strip.
A total of 105 hostages - 81 Israelis and 24 foreigners (23 Thais and one Filipino) - were released during the seven-day truce, which included the release of 240 Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
They are joined by four other hostages who were previously released: an Israeli-American mother and daughter and two elderly Israeli women.
On the other hand, Israel has recovered the bodies of three hostages who perished in Gaza: a man, a soldier and an elderly woman.
This brings the total number of hostages alive and fifteen dead in Gaza, a total of 122 were freed alive and three were rescued after their deaths.
The Hamas attack that sparked the war on Oct. 7 left more than 1,200 people dead in Israel. Since then, the military offensive in Gaza has left more than 15,500 dead, 41,316 wounded, more than 7,000 missing and 1.8 million displaced, 80% of the total population.
With information from EFE