In the aftermath of a deadly attack by Hamas, the Israeli military has officially confirmed that 126 individuals are being held as hostages by the Palestinian militant group. This announcement comes eight days after the tragic incident which claimed the lives of at least 1,300 people in Israel.
The attack, which occurred on October 7, led to an initial estimate of around 150 Israeli and foreign captives.
Subsequent to the attack, Israel responded with heavy bombardment in the Palestinian enclave, resulting in the loss of over 2,300 lives. Alongside this, tens of thousands of Israeli troops have amassed along Gaza’s border, suggesting a potential readiness for an invasion.
Military spokesman Richard Hecht revealed that 286 Israeli soldiers have lost their lives in the military operations initiated in response to the unprecedented Hamas attacks. Israeli officials attribute the revision in the number of known hostages to the discovery and identification of bodies from the attack sites in southern Israel.
During a briefing, Hecht stated that the number of confirmed hostages has now reached 126, up from the previously reported 120 on Saturday. However, officials remain cautious, acknowledging that the number is subject to change in the coming days.
The Israeli military has also disclosed that some of the hostages’ bodies were found during raids into Gaza, although an exact number was not provided. In contrast, Hamas claims that 22 hostages were killed in Israeli strikes but has not presented concrete evidence to support this claim. The militant group has further issued warnings that it will retaliate by harming the hostages in response to unannounced Israeli strikes on civilian targets. The situation remains volatile and continues to evolve.