Hamas may have taken more than 100 Israeli hostages into Gaza

Whereabouts and fate of captives is one of the most pressing issues for military planners

  • More than 100 Israeli hostages, including women and children, may have been taken into Gaza by Hamas, hugely complicating any Israeli military operation to free them.

    Amid shocking images of terrified Israeli soldiers and civilians – some bloodied, others hooded and with their hands tied – being marched away by Hamas militants, the whereabouts and fate of the captives has become one of the most pressing issues for military planners.

    While a spokesperson for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, has said only that a “significant number” of Israeli civilians and soldiers are being held hostage, that number is believed to be in the dozens, with some Israeli news outlets speculating that more than 100 have been taken hostage.

    Officials in the US and UK were urgently investigating claims that several Americans and one British citizen may have been captured.

    According to reports, while most hostages were taken by Palestinian armed factions, some Palestinian civilians who also entered Israel may have taken captives too.

    Among those reported as missing is Jake Marlowe – a British citizen who was attending a music festival in the south of Israel. His family have been unable to reach him since Hamas infiltrators attacked the event.

    Conricus said some hostages were alive while others were presumed dead, in line with the practice of Gaza’s militant factions of taking human remains to exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

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