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Disorder in the Gaza Strip: Terror group uncertain about their location – Hamas loses control over 40 hostages

Some Israeli hostages are not held by Hamas. The terrorist group itself may not know the whereabouts of some prisoners, as they may be held by other Palestinian groups.

Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani serves as the Prime Minister of Qatar and is a mediator in negotiations for the release of hostages held by Hamas. He told the “Financial Times” a few days ago that Hamas is unable to locate about 40 detained women and children.

The consequences of the conflicts, such as the collapse of internet and telephone connections, as well as the killing of Hamas military leaders by Israel, may have contributed to Hamas actually losing track of the hostages, as reported by the news magazine “Business Insider”. This was also confirmed by experts.

“There is a lot of chaos, as the Gaza Strip is essentially a war zone”

Scott Walker, an experienced hostage negotiator, pointed out the role of “fog of war” in the potential disappearance of hostages. “One must be aware that there is a lot of chaos, as the Gaza Strip is essentially a war zone,” he said.

Other experts speculate that Hamas may not have all the hostages under their control because they are held by rival groups. These other groups may not be willing to reach an agreement.

Hans-Jakob Schindler, Director of the non-profit Counter Extremism Project, spoke to Business Insider about the “most complex hostage situation” he has ever seen. Not only due to the number of hostages, but also because of the number of groups holding hostages – they are not under Hamas’ authority.

Hamas negotiates with other terrorist groups for their hostages

“The Hamas cannot simply command that these hostages be handed over, especially since all other groups know that the hostages could also be very valuable to them,” he said. According to Schindler, Hamas is not only negotiating with Israel but is also engaged in “internal Palestinian negotiations” to retrieve the hostages from other groups.

For example, the Hamas-rivaling “Palestinian Islamic Jihad” claimed in a statement spread by the allied Lebanese Hezbollah that it has more than 30 of the hostages at its mercy. That would be about an eighth of the total number.

According to the “Wall Street Journal”, Hezbollah will only release the hostages once all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel have been released – a much higher demand than what Hamas has made. (Tsp)

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