Families of Hostages in Gaza Are Desperate for Proof of Life


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Forty-four days after Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, was seized by Hamas, his left arm blown off by a hand grenade, his parents have no idea if he is dead or alive, hidden somewhere in the rubble of Gaza.

There is no information about the fate of Mr. Goldberg-Polin or any of the nearly 240 people believed to be held hostage in Gaza. There has been no proof of life, no evidence that they are being fed or given medicine, no contact with the outside world.

The not knowing, families of the hostages say, is nearly unbearable, leaving them desperate for information at a moment when they are receiving practically none, even as reports swirl about a possible deal for the release of some women and children.

Negotiations are taking place far from public view, and the Israeli and U.S. governments have shared very little about who might be included in a deal, the families say. Publicly and privately, officials have told relatives that the talks are too sensitive to reveal anything.