Hamas has claimed that Israel is refusing to accept the bodies of the Bibas family, including 10-month-old Kfir. Hamas said in a statement along with a distressing video of father Yarden Bibas, on its Telegram channel: "The resistance offered to hand over the three bodies, but the occupation government refused to receive them and is still maneuvering and bargaining."
Yarden, 34, was visibly distressed and in tears as he said, "Bibi (Netanyahu) your airstrike took away my beloved family, now do what you can to bring them home so they can be buried at home. I'm begging you, bring me, my wife and my children back home. Please, I'm begging."
Heartbreaking Video Explaining Fate
The heart-wrenching message follows Hamas's claim that 10-month-old Kfir, four-year-old Ariel, and their mother Shiri Silberman-Bibas, 30, were casualties of an Israeli airstrike preceding Friday's truce announcement.
The claim has not been independently verified, and IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari responded to the video of Yarden by saying, "Hamas' claims about the Bibas family are still unverified; the published documentation is psychological terrorism."
The world witnessed a distressing incident on October 7 when footage surfaced of Hamas terrorists forcibly taking Shiri and her young family from their home in Nir Oz Kibbutz toward a waiting motorcycle.
The video showed the terrified mother sobbing and clutching onto Kfir and Ariel, as they were forcibly taken, while horrified neighbors shouted, "She has a baby."
Many have seen Kfir's horrific ordeal—complete with red hair and a toothless smile—as a symbol of the brutality of Hamas' October 7 onslaught, in which the militants massacred 1,200 Israelis either inside their homes or while they attempted to escape a music festival.
Earlier, on Tuesday, the IDF reported that Hamas handed custody of Kfir and his family to another terrorist group in the second city of Gaza, Khan Younis.
At that time, IDF spokesperson Colonel Avihai Adrei mentioned that the "babies with the red hair" were currently under the control of one of the factions in the vicinity of Khan Younis, Gaza, as per a message posted on X.
Yossi Schneider - Shiri's cousin - told Israeli media: "It's like our personal Schindler's list. Every day we wait to see who will return and who won't. This is like the list that chooses who will live and who will die."
He questioned why Hamas had taken the 10-month-old baby and the four-year-old child initially, questioning the value they held as "bargaining chips."
"What were the Hamas terrorists exactly thinking of when they kidnapped them? What exactly were they afraid of? What did they think that Kfir could do to them?
"There is no precedent for something like this, for a baby who was kidnapped when he was 9 months old," Eylon Keshet, Kfir's father's cousin, told reporters on Tuesday. "Is baby Kfir the enemy of Hamas?"
Upon being told that the Bibas family had been shifted to Khan Younis, he said: "They have been sold like some kind of pet. What sort of people are they using a 10-month-old baby boy as an asset?
"They're using him like a chess piece or a Monopoly card.
"The world needs to wake up and understand what's happening. This [Hamas] is an evil organization. Hamas are playing with people's lives. They're not playing by the rules.
"We haven't seen our family for 55 days. Kfir hasn't seen the light for 55 days. It's crazy. We've heard from the hostages who have come back that they don't have any food, they have lice, they are not able to take a shower.
"An adult could just about cope with this but can a child? Can a ten-month-old baby? I don't think so."
Hamas' claims come as the seventh set of hostages is scheduled for release on Thursday night following the extension of the precarious ceasefire deal at the eleventh hour. Two hostages have been released so far, and at least eight more are expected to be set free in the coming hours.
Despite frantic efforts from the international community to extend the ceasefire, both Hamas and Israel openly expressed their willingness to continue fighting.
Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, instructed its forces to "maintain high combat readiness in the last hours of the truce."
Meanwhile, the IDF said that its chief of staff, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, had "approved the attack plans for the continuation of the campaign" and shared images of him inspecting maps with his commanders.