In negotiations for the release of hostages held by Hamas and other organizations in the Palestinian territory, Israel has made the release of women and children its priority. Wednesday morning, according to the count kept by CheckNews, 32 adult women (including four soldiers) and 5 minors were still among the hostages.
But at the beginning of the afternoon, the Al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced that two of them, the youngest, had been killed in Israeli bombings before the ceasefire. The press release cites Kfir Bibas, 10 months, and his brother Ariel, 4 years old. They were allegedly killed along with their mother, 32-year-old Shiri Silverman Bibas. The family was kidnapped on October 7 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. The father of the two children, Yarden Bibas, 34, is also among the alleged hostages. His name was not mentioned in the Hamas statement. As of Wednesday afternoon, the information of the deaths of the two children had not been confirmed by Israel.
On Wednesday morning, several Israeli sources reported that the names of Kfir and Ariel were missing from the list of hostages to be released that evening. On Monday, the Arabic-language spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces, Avichay Adraee, told Sky News Arabia that the four members of the Bibas family had been transferred by Hamas to another faction, and were being held in Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip. The name of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has been widely mentioned, although without certainty.
Three hostages under 18
Three other hostages are, to date, under 18 years old. The youngest is Gali Tarshansky, 13, kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri, where she lived with her father Ilya and her brother Lior, 15. If the father was able to flee when Hamas forces arrived, this is not the case for Lior, whose body was identified as one of the victims of the Beeri massacres.
A second teenager is among the hostages. This is Aisha Alziedana (sometimes identified as Ziyadne, or Al-Ziyadne). Aged 17, she was kidnapped from Kibbutz Holit, in the southeast of the Gaza Strip, where she worked on October 7 with her brothers Bilal, Hamza, and her father Youssef. This Muslim family of agricultural workers comes from Rahat, about sixty kilometers from Holit.
Finally, the last hostage under the age of 18, Amit Shani (16 years old) was, like Gali Tarshansky, kidnapped from Kibbutz Beeri. He is the only member of his family not to have escaped Hamas. The teenager was kidnapped along with his neighbor, Yossi Sharabi, 51, and Ofir Engel, 17 at the time of his abduction. The latter, born October 15, 2005, became an adult eight days after his kidnapping. Resident of Kibbutz Ramat-Rachel, near Jerusalem, Ofir Engel was the boyfriend of Noya Sharabi, 16, Amit Shani’s neighbor. Noya, her mother Lianne, and her sister Yahel, 13, were all killed on October 7. Ofir is the son of an Israeli father and a Dutch mother. An emergency procedure was put in place after his kidnapping for him to be officially considered binational, in the hope of increasing Dutch mobilization over his fate.
At this time, according to the count made by CheckNews, the total number of people hostages (or presumed hostages) of Hamas or other Palestinian factions amounts to 162 (without taking into account the announcement of the three deaths by Hamas today, not yet confirmed), including 13 nationals Thai (according to figures from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of this country).