Even as it tries to recover hostages through indirect talks with Hamas and army operations in the Gaza Strip, Israel has been declaring some of the missing as dead in captivity, a measure designed to grant anxious relatives a measure of closure. A three-person medical committee has been poring over videos from the Oct. 7 rampage by Hamas-led Palestinian gunmen in southern Israel for signs of lethal injuries among those abducted, and cross-referencing with the testimony of hostages freed during a week-long Gaza truce that ended on Friday. That can suffice to determine that a hostage has died, even if no doctor has formally pronounced this over his or her body, said Hagar Mizrahi, a Health Ministry official who heads the panel created in response to a crisis now in its third month.
Venezuelans will vote on Sunday in a referendum backed by President Nicolas Maduro's government over a potentially oil-rich territory that is the subject of a long-running border dispute with Guyana. The five-question referendum includes a question rejecting International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction to decide to which country the territory around the Esequibo river belongs.