Israeli authorities have agreed to reduce the number of hostages sought to be released in the first phase of a new deal with Hamas - from 40 to 33 - as it became known that some of those abducted had died, The New York Times reports, citing three Israeli officials.

Negotiations for a new deal could resume on April 30.

Previously, Israel had demanded that Hamas release at least 40 hostages - women, the elderly, and the seriously ill - as a condition for a new long-term ceasefire.

Now, the Israeli government is prepared to agree to the release of 33 people. It has been revealed that some individuals on this list, apparently seven people, died while in captivity.

Official data indicates that on October 7, 2023, terrorists kidnapped 253 people on Israeli territory. Currently, 133 abductees (living and deceased) remain in Gaza. Among them are four individuals who have been held captive by Hamas since 2014. Additionally, 129 people were abducted on October 7, 2023 - 110 men (including two small children) and 19 women. Of these, 119 are Israeli citizens and 11 are foreigners (eight from Thailand, one from Nepal, one from Tanzania, one citizen each from France and Mexico). Another Israeli woman is considered missing. The bodies of 34 abductees are being held by Hamas in Gaza, including those abducted in 2014.

Regarding the released or rescued individuals, 123 people have been accounted for: five Israelis were rescued prior to the first phase of the exchange with Hamas, 81 Israelis and 24 foreigners were released during the first phase of the exchange with Hamas (which took place from November 24 to 30, 2023), nine abductees were killed by Hamas and their bodies were recovered by IDF forces, four hostages were accidentally killed by IDF soldiers, and two hostages were rescued during a special operation on February 12, 2024. On March 12, it was reported that another hostage, a military serviceman, had died.