Photos of the hostages
Photos of the hostagesMiriam Alster/FLASH90

US and Israeli officials have clarified that it is not certain how many of the 133 hostages still in Gaza are alive, NBC News reported.

Around one-fourth of the hostages in Gaza are no longer alive.

According to US officials, though it is "difficult to say for certain," far fewer hostages may be alive than is publicly known.

A former senior Israeli official told NBC that there is no firm estimate regarding how many hostages are still alive, adding, "No one reliable has this information. It’s all speculation."

A relative of one of the hostages, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Israeli security officials have shown Americans that they know where many of the hostages are, but that the hostages are kept on the move.

Though the Biden administration assumes that five US hostages are still alive and unaccounted for, the US government has better visibility into the locations and conditions of some hostages than others, and cannot say with certainty that all five are still alive, a US official said.

The US also believes that Hamas is holding the bodies of several other Americans believed to have been taken hostage on October 7.