Gaza aid ‘choked off’ after IDF seizes Rafah border crossing

TEL AVIV — In its cease-fire proposal, Hamas has committed to release 33 hostages in the first phase of a deal. They could be alive or dead and would come from the “humanitarian category,” it says.

That includes children and women, both soldiers and civilians, people older than 50, and those with serious medical conditions although it is unclear how Hamas defines that.

An NBC News analysis found there are approximately 51 hostages who would appear to qualify for release in the first phase. Of those, 15 have been confirmed dead by Israeli authorities, though that number is likely higher. 

Only one American hostage appears to clearly meet the criteria for release. Keith Siegel, a 64-year-old civilian, featured in a hostage video released by Hamas late last month. 

Four other American hostages are believed to be alive but all are younger men.  

There are 19 female hostages in Gaza in total, although five have been confirmed dead. That number includes both soldiers and civilians. 

Only two child hostages are left in Gaza: the red-headed Bibas brothers, Ariel, 4, and his 15-month-old sibling, Kfir.  

Hamas said in late November that the boys had been killed in an Israeli airstrike, along with their mother, Shiri Bibas. Israel has not confirmed their deaths. Their father, Yarden Bibas, is also being held hostage.