Photos of the hostages
Photos of the hostagesMiriam Alster/FLASH90

A senior Hamas official has said that the terror group's military arm is holding 30 abducted IDF soldiers.

The official, who spoke toAl-Araby Al-Jadeed but whose name was not publicized, said that Hamas "trapped" 30 soldiers on October 7, and that the soldiers are now "far from the hands of the occupation."

He also criticized Israel's statements that Hamas only offered to release 20 hostages in a prisoner swap as "incorrect."

The official added that the captive soldiers and commanders are "being held in high-security locations, and are very far from the hand of the occupation - it is impossible to reach them under any circumstances."

According to him, the proposed prisoner swap deal includes three stages: the release of living civilians, the release of living soldiers, and the exchange of corpses. In Israel, it was reported that Hamas proposed to release just 20 hostages in the first stage, Galei Zahal reported.

Regarding the reports that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is not in touch with others, the source said, "He is not disconnected, but doing his work as the leader of the movement on the ground - recently, he visited areas where there were battles between the resistance and the occupation's army, and met with the movement's fighters above ground, and not in tunnels."

Last week, senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk said that he does not know how many hostages are alive and how many are dead.

"We do not know how many Israeli prisoners are alive or dead at the moment," he said in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat.

His claim is in line with that of another Hamas official, Bassem Naim, who last month told AFP from Cairo, "Of the prisoners, we don't know exactly who among them are alive or dead, killed because of strikes or hunger."

"There are prisoners held by numerous groups in multiple places" across the Strip, he claimed.