Will the IDF kill more of Hamas's recently taken hostages than Hamas does? [Ṁ1000 Subsidy]
Jul 2

This refers to the ~100–250 hostages taken in the raids on Israel by Hamas (and PIJ and other groups) in October 2023, and currently kept captive in Gaza. This market will be resolved once the total number of hostages and their total deaths while hostage are acknowledged by major international media in a non-editorial context, to the best of my knowledge.

Freed hostages do not count for this market. Unintentional deaths count based on which side launched the ordnance or fired the gun. Deaths by natural causes (including starvation/dehydration) will not count, unless the siege is lifted, after which they will count as inflicted by Hamas. If the hostage crisis comes to a close with an equal number of deaths inflicted by both sides (including zero) then this will resolve to No.


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This article surfaces some more evidence regarding the circumstances around the death of the 16 hostages who are known to have died in Gaza. They say that 10 were killed by IDF operations, but their definitions include hostages being killed by Hamas men who are under military pressure. However, the cases of Ron Sherman, Nick Bazer Ilya Toledano and Joseph Sharabi seem pretty clear to me. They were killed by the IDF.


Note that this article makes no reference to hostages who are claimed dead due to IDF operations by Hamas. Investigative journalism trumps Hamas's word, but I don't know if that counts as verified.

@Panfilo Do deaths by medical neglect count? This article talks about 4 hostages who died from their wounds or other medical conditions after arriving in Gaza.

@Shump Dying from wounds counts based on which side wounded them, dying from an unrelated condition counts as neutral due to the siege situation.

@Panfilo The IDF admitted that they likely killed Yoseph Sharabi in bombings. Does that count as confirmed?

@Shump I could use a link since I'm just still seeing the initial denials from Jan 16th.

bought Ṁ250 of YES

The only confirmed hostage deaths so far are either two-way accusations or confessed IDF killings. This could change, but if this market resolved now it would resolve Yes.

@Panfilo In the Wikipedia article it says that 27 were killed by Hamas, according to Israel. Since Hamas will most likely not admit the killings. What would you accept as proof that those were in fact killed by Hamas?

predicts YES

@Gideon37 Third party verification, preferably by international journalism.

bought Ṁ50 of NO

@Panfilo If the reporting is mixed, and pro-palestinian sources will blame Israeli and pro-israeli blame hamas, will you count only pro-palestinian sources?

predicts YES

@Berg Mixed accusations from similarly competent and independent sources will not count towards resolution until or unless they update to clearly lean one direction. No reason to only count one side. Note that there are a fixed number of hostages; we will at some point have a pretty settled picture of which of them were clearly killed by something specific, which were freed, and which are a long-term mystery.

bought Ṁ200 of YES

There's been a bunch of people who were considered to be hostages, that the IDF recently announced actually died in the October 7th attacks, and that their bodies were taken. Part of me wonders if that's not just a cover up for cases where the IDF knows they killed the hostage.

bought Ṁ50 of YES

@Shump Unfortunately the events of the day itself seem like they're going to be a source of uncertainty for a long time. There are some people claiming that IDF helicopters incinerated a ton of people thinking they were Hamas, and that's where the car wreckage came from. But I can't find anything that definitively clears it up, only footage from areas other than the festival. I do know that they revised down the civilian proportion of deaths a couple times though.

@Panfilo The people who claimed that are conspiracy theorists; there was a report in Hebrew Haaretz saying that Israel may have killed a few people (think some small single digit number, maybe like 2-3) by mistake, as you would expect from chaotic war zones. A bunch of bad faith actors latched onto this, and Haaretz corrected them.

The civilian death toll was revised down, and Israel's total death toll moved from 1400 to 1200, because it turns out many of the dead bodies actually were Hamas fighters.

predicts YES

@nathanwei I agree that there's a lot of motivated reasoning. What you say is entirely possible.

bought Ṁ100 of NO

@Shump Accusing Hamas of taking corpses might seem odd, but Israel has negotiated exchange for bodies held by its enemies many times in the past. (This is due to Jewish religious doctrine.) Past first glance I doubt this theory holds much water.

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2023/12/idf-troops-kill-3-israeli-hostages-mistake These 3 are definitely counting due to being an IDF confession.

predicts YES

@Panfilo what an awful fuckup. Not even killed in bombings, just shot at when they were unarmed. I wonder how many Palestinians met a similar fate.

bought Ṁ50 of YES

I don't want to make my position too big as I am the market maker, but the willingness of Hamas to deliver bodies they claim were killed by airstrikes lends some credibility to their position that at least 7 hostages have been killed by the IDF (the Bibas family plus the three bodies offered tonight). If the bodies were accepted, Israel could ostensibly perform autopsies.


predicts YES

@DavidBolin none of the sources I could find describe the cause of death for either of these two women, but Yehudit Weiss was undergoing treatment for cancer when she was abducted, so it's plausible that her death could be considered a "death by natural causes". I would still blame Hamas in that case, but by the terms of this question it might not count. Honestly, I doubt that we'll ever know the cause of death for most of the captives who die; in many cases the bodies may never even be found. I expect this market to resolve to N/A.

predicts YES

@DanielParker It's possible we get literally no confirmed causes of death, but I've moved the resolution date to the end of March to signal that it won't be rushed.

bought Ṁ65 of NO

@Panfilo So what level of evidence is required to count? What happens if we get no confirmed deaths? And what counts as a confirmation?

predicts YES

@Shump No confirmed causes of death results in N/A; the market will most realistically be resolved based on a small number of deaths that come from these sources:

-Bodies found with bullet wounds or similar signs of execution are attributed to Hamas
-Bodies found buried under rubble without obvious signs of execution are atributed to IDF
-Bodies that expired of non-violent causes while captive in the siege are attributed to no one, unless there is a ceasefire in which case they are attributed to Hamas (as in the description).

Admissions of wrongdoing will also be believed if they happen, ie. if Hamas confesses to executing hostages that are never identified, but I don't think either side is likely to do that.

predicts YES

Are POWs also considered hostages?

predicts YES

@DanPowell This market is specifically about the hostages taken in the October 7th attack.

predicts YES

@Panfilo Right, I was asking if IDF members taken as prisoners of war during the raid are counted along with the civilian hostages kidnapped during the raid.

@DanPowell Since Hamas is not honoring the Geneva Accords (nor the conventions of war which existed before that) when it comes to prisoners of opposing militaries, I don't think we can consider them POWs in the conventional sense.

predicts YES

@DanielParker That’s a bit of circular logic, isn’t it? They’re not entitled to POW protections because they haven’t gotten POW protections?

@DanPowell no. Almost the opposite: my point is that if Hamas was treating them as POWs, we might give Hamas the benefit of the doubt for harms they might experience in captivity, but since that is not the case, Hamas should be fully blamed. At the very least we shouldn't consider military and civilian hostages differently for the purpose of this question.

predicts YES

@DanielParker The standard of international law for POWs is higher than the standard for non-military people in captivity.

If you are asserting that unilaterally arresting foreign nationals from inside their national borders is inherently a violation of the Geneva Convention, I’d want to clarify that it was only the people abducted by Hamas on October 7 that counted, and that those abducted by Israel or on other dates were excluded.

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