Israel’s chief military spokesperson: 31 of the remaining hostages in Gaza are dead

Israel’s chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on Tuesday that 31 of the remaining hostages held in Gaza were pronounced dead.

“We have informed 31 families that their captured loved ones are no longer among the living and that we have pronounced them dead,” he told a regular media briefing.

Israel has said 136 hostages are still being held in Gaza.

Washington has for weeks sought an elusive deal to secure the release of remaining hostages among those Hamas kidnapped in its October 7 assault, as key to making headway on broader challenges such as the governance of post-war Gaza.

Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said Doha had received a “positive” response from Hamas to the truce plans.

The premier was speaking alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has embarked on another crisis tour of the Middle East.

Blinken said he would bring a response from Hamas on a hostage deal to Israel on Wednesday and called it “essential” to move ahead.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done. But we continue to believe that an agreement is possible and indeed essential, and we will continue to work relentlessly to achieve it,” Blinken told reporters in Doha on Tuesday after being informed of the reply by Qatar.

The Gaza war erupted on October 7 with an attack by Hamas militants which resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians.

Militants from Gaza also seized around 250 hostages. Israel says 132 remain in Gaza including 28 who are believed to have been killed.

Israel’s withering military campaign has killed at least 27,585 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

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