Hamas claims youngest Israeli hostage has died alongside mum and brother

Hamas has claimed its youngest hostage – a 10-month-old boy – has been killed along with his four-year-old brother and their mother.
Shiri Bibas and Kfir and Ariel Bibas were taken during the terror attack on Israel in October and were the highest-profile civilian hostages yet to be freed.
The group’s armed wing, al Qassam Brigades, said on social media that Mrs Bibas, 32, and her sons died in an Israeli airstrike before the current ceasefire.
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The boys’ father, Yarden Bibas, is also being held.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said it was “examining the reliability of the information”.
“IDF representatives spoke with the members of the Bibas family, informed them of the publication [of the claims] and are with them at this time,” a statement read.

Image: Ariel Bibas, 4, was also kidnapped with his mother Shiri (below). Pics: Bring Them Home Now

Relatives made a special appeal on Tuesday after the family was left off the penultimate list of people to be freed under the current truce deal.
Mrs Bibas’s cousin, Yifat, told Sky News it was agonising to have no information.
“I can’t stop thinking about Kfir, what he is eating, is he bathing, is he hitting his milestones?” she said.
She was worried Hamas might have passed them to another armed group in Gaza.
“We reach a dead end every time we try to figure out why Hamas is having so much trouble getting them back, or whether that means if they’re alive or not,” she said.

Image: Video showed Shiri Bibas trying to protect her children as they were taken
Yifat said Hamas could be playing “psychological games” by not giving them any news.
“It’s amazing that a baby became some sort of a card or, you know, a winning card or a trophy holding him hostage like this to get more arms or, I don’t know, fuel for their missile launchers,” she said.

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Shiri’s cousin Yifat speaks to Sky News

Sky’s Middle East correspondent Alistair Bunkall said the family would now be desperately hoping the Hamas claim is false.
“There have been occasions in the last week or so when hostages who had been declared dead by one of the armed groups in Gaza actually turned out not to have died – and have subsequently been released,” said Bunkall.
“I’m sure that that is something the family will be clinging on to tonight.”
Read more:Have hostages gone missing in Gaza?Thai hostage negotiator thanks Iran for support

Hamas has so far freed 61 Israelis – nearly all of them women and children – as part of a ceasefire deal that started on Friday
The extension to the truce is due to end late on Wednesday and intense talks are going on to extend it further.
Egyptian security sources have told Reuters news agency they expect it can be extended by another two days.

Source : Sky News