April 10, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Says It Cannot Locate Hostages

April 10, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Says It Cannot Locate Hostages

Latest Developments

Hamas claimed it lacks the ability to locate 40 hostages needed for a ceasefire deal with Israel, CNN reported on April 10. An unnamed Israeli government source speaking to CNN warned that Hamas’s inability — or unwillingness — to identify the hostages could result in the collapse of negotiations. The framework for the current talks specifies that Hamas should release 40 of the remaining hostages in the categories of “women, female soldiers, men over the age of 50 and men under the age of 50 with serious medical conditions” in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Under this arrangement, Hamas and Israel would pause hostilities for six weeks.

However, Hamas, which has repeatedly refused to provide Israel with a list of the remaining hostages, has previously insisted that it would need all combat to cease before it is able to track down and assemble the hostages. CNN noted that Hamas’s claim marked “the same argument it made in November before a week-long pause that broke down after Hamas failed to deliver more hostages.”

Expert Analysis

“We obviously don’t know if this is factual or more psychological warfare, but it confirms two realities for us either way: Hamas is a barbaric terrorist organization that should be destroyed, and Hamas will not negotiate in good faith until its leaders perceive the end is near.” Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“Historically, Hamas has been tight-lipped about the information it shares with Israel about hostages it holds captive. The terrorist group will only release information when it is compelled to do so or if it serves its interests. It is unclear whether Hamas possesses the hostages it claims to have, thus creating uncertainty in the negotiations. Despite this, Hamas believes it is currently in a position of strength and is unlikely to provide more proof of which hostages it is holding.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

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