BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – As the war rages on in Israel, men, women, children, elderly, and even babies, are being taken hostage.

The number of hostages reportedly kidnapped by the terrorist group, Hamas, may exceed the original estimate. The terrorist group Hamas claims they have taken nearly 150 hostages since its initial attack on Israel. 

Hamas claims the kidnappings are for the return of their own citizens.

Hamas said it is seeking the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails in exchange for the Israeli captives. Israel is currently holding close to 4,500 Palestinians for security reasons, according to B’Tselem, an Israeli human-rights organization.

Dr. Jeffrey Daniels is an Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at West Virginia University. Daniels specializes in Hostage Negotiations and the science behind it. 

He said the hostages are only a small device in a larger ploy.

“Oftentimes, hostages are being used for instrumental purposes. Which means that they are being used to try and manipulate a third party,” said Daniels.

Among those hostages, the elderly and children, who may count for a large percentage of the kidnapped. Daniels said there is a full operation happening around the clock working to free those held hostage. 

“The international scene, obviously there’s governments involved, there’s a lot of people involved behind the scenes to get these people free. How they go about doing that, there may be some rescue operations. However, I think Hamas has done a good job of splitting up these hostages into multiple locations so there can’t be one operation to rescue them all,” said Daniels.

President Joe Biden confirmed on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, that Americans are among some of the hostages captured by Hamas.