Over the weekend, some very troublesome reports surfaced out of Israel and Palestine.
Authorities are no longer sure just how many of the hostages that were taken by Hamas during the initial terror strike against Israel are still alive.
While there are reportedly negotiations taking place to release 10-15 hostages in exchange for a small pause in the fighting, that may be the last we see of live hostages.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been adamant that he will not even consider a cease-fire of any kind until all of the 240 hostages taken have been returned.
That, however, may not even be possible, as officials are now unsure if all of them are still alive.
The bad news was broken by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday.
He stated, "We do not know the precise number of hostages. We know the number of missing, and that's the number the Israelis have given, but we don't know how many of those are still alive.
"As far as Americans are concerned, there are nine missing American citizens as well as a missing legal permanent resident--a green card holder."
Sullivan was later asked about the claim by Hamas that Israel strikes have killed some of the hostages.
He was adamant that we should not take Hamas reports at face value while at the same time stating there is no real way to prove or disprove that claim.
Israel has hit Gaza pretty hard and early reports stated that the hostages were likely kept in the tunnels, which Israel has largely destroyed, but again, that is all speculation.
Regardless of how the hostages died, Hamas will claim they were killed by Israel just to create outrage and pushback from NATO countries.
Hamas is taking significant losses, surely more than they had imagined when they invaded Israel and started this war, so they are going to do everything possible to make Israel out to be the bad guy here, which would include deflecting the blame for any loss of life.