A 10-month-old boy, his four-year-old brother, and their mother, who were taken hostage by Hamas, were reportedly killed in “previous Israeli air strikes” on the Gaza strip, as claimed by Hamas’s armed wing.
This news comes as Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend the ceasefire in Gaza by another day. Mediators have stated that this extension will allow for the release of more Israeli captives on Thursday.
Kfir Bibas, his older brother Ariel, and their parents Yarden, 34, and Shiri, 32, were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz after Hamas carried out a series of attacks on Israelis on October 7.
The Israeli military informed The Independent that they are investigating the claim made by Al-Qassam Brigades, and they are committed to supporting the Bibas family during this challenging time. The exact timing of their deaths is unclear.
Just a day before the Hamas claim, Kfir’s family made an urgent plea for his “immediate release” out of concern for his well-being, including access to food and formula.
Ofri Bibas, Kfir’s aunt, expressed her worry: “He can’t stay there any more. He is a 10-month-old baby. We don’t know if he is getting formula. There isn’t much food. Every day there is a risk for their mental and physical condition. They must be released. They are children. They are not supposed to be hostages.”
Aylon Keshet, Mr. Bibas’s cousin, added that the family is living through a “nightmare” and have no information about their condition. “These are real people with real lives. Please do not let them stay for another day. Do not let Hamas keep using them as bargaining chips. We really don’t know anything. We are in the dark here. We don’t know anything about their well-being or condition. This is a nightmare scenario for us. The uncertainty is really hard. We are worried sick about them.”
During the six-day ceasefire, 97 Israeli and foreign captives were released, and 210 Palestinians were freed from Israeli prisons.
Hamas gunmen had seized 240 Israelis in their raid in October.
Qatari officials highlighted the importance of the two-day extension to the initial truce in locating missing Israeli hostages.
An IDF spokesperson emphasized Hamas’s responsibility for the well-being of all hostages in the Gaza Strip and called for their immediate release.
They stated, “Hamas’ actions continue to endanger the hostages, which include nine children. Hamas must immediately release our hostages. The IDF, along with other security agencies, will continue to accompany the Bibas family, as well as all families of the hostages and missing persons.”