If and when the hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip are released under any deal, they face the risk of lasting psychological trauma, experts have warned, citing the suffering of people freed previously.

"There are some that are living dead — as if they were frozen in time and place in Gaza, and haven't returned," said Merav Roth, a clinical psychologist who treated some of those former hostages and their families.

Israel launched an assault to destroy Hamas after the group's unprecedented attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7. The hostages' possible release is one of the points at stake in truce talks underway in Egypt.