Hamas hostages in Gaza may have fallen into hands of other terror groups
NBC News: Reports of Israeli hostages
Hostages taken captive by Hamas may now be with other Palestinian terror groups, an peace negotiator in contact with the terrorist group has told Daily Express US.
Hamas militants killed 1,400 civilians and kidnapped over 200 hostages during their barbaric October 7 assault on Israel.
And while a handful of hostages have been released by Hamas, most remain trapped in Gaza.
Gershon Baskin is the director of the International Communities Organization, which negotiated the release of a hostage from Hamas in 2011.
He says some hostages have fallen into other hands.
Baskin told Daily Express US: “It is not clear who is speaking in the negotiations in regards to what is possible, who is controlling who is released. It also isn’t clear that Hamas has control of all the hostages. Hostages were taken by Islamic Jihad and The PFLP (Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine).”
Reports have also emerged suggesting Qatar is taking a leading role in hostage negotiations.
The Prime Minister of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, has said he hopes there will soon be a breakthrough.
Speaking on Wednesday, he added: “There is some progress and some breakthrough and we remain hopeful.”
However, Gershon says that, based on his communication with Hamas, this may not be the case.
He added: “The last conversation we had was trying to establish whether the reports coming out of Qatar were true.
“When I started asking questions I realized that they didn’t know, which could suggest it isn’t true. But there is an asterisk next to that because what we are experiencing now is that there is no clear chain of command in Hamas regarding the hostages.
“It is not clear whether the Qataris have contact with just the military wing of Hamas, or just the political wing, whether they are talking to the political wing in Doha or elsewhere.
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“It is difficult to determine what is going on. The Israelis have denied any breakthrough on the Qatari track.”
Baskin believes Hamas will continue to drive a “hard bargain” in talks with Israel.
He continued: “Hamas drives a hard bargain. I have spoken to them about freeing women, children, the elderly, and the sick. Many of the soldiers taken are also non-combatant soldiers. It’s difficult negotiating with them, they are tough.”
Khaled Meshaal, a Hamas spokesperson, has said this week that hostages will be freed if Israel stops the bombardment of Gaza, which has killed over 5,000 civilians, according to reports.
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