Israel recovers bodies of three hostages from Gaza

Public TV English
Public TV English
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TEL AVIV: The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Friday recovered the bodies of three hostages from the war-torn Gaza Strip amid intense fighting raging between Israeli forces and Hamas, The Times of Israel reported. The three were identified as Itzhak Gelerenter, Amit Buskila and Shani Louk.

In a press statement, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the bodies were recovered in an overnight operation carried out by the military and Shin Bet. The three were at the Supernova music festival near Re’im on the morning of the Hamas-led October 7 onslaught, where they then fled to the Mefalsim area. Hagari said they were killed there by Hamas terrorists, and their bodies were then kidnapped to Gaza.

Until recently, both Gelerenter and Buskila were presumed to be alive, while Louk was confirmed dead in late October after a piece of her skull was identified following widely shared footage of terrorists kidnapping her, The Times of Israel reported.

The military had initially not planned to make the announcement of the recovery of the bodies on Friday, but rather wait until the operation had concluded. However, due to rumours spreading on social media about the operation, it was decided to release some information, including the names of the three hostages.

“I call on the public — please refrain from spreading rumours and maintain the security of our forces. Keep our forces safe. Listen to the messages of the IDF spokesperson and the official bodies only”, Hagari said. “We will update with any information that is available, transparently, first of all the families and then the public through the media”, he said.

According to Hagari, the recovery efforts have “been going on for a long time already”. He also said some of the intelligence for the operation came from Palestinian terror suspects captured by the IDF and interrogated by the Shin Bet, The Times of Israel reported. “The intense fighting in all parts of the Strip continues, and the task of utmost importance of returning the hostages is (on the mind) of every commander and fighter in the field”, he added.

The Times of Israel reported, citing Shani Louk’s father Nissim’s statement he gave to Channel 12 news while the announcement that the IDF recovered her body was difficult to receive, it was also news that he had been waiting for, since he had been officially informed more than six months ago that Shani was dead.

Nissim said military representatives showed him a picture of Shani’s body when they informed him that her remains were recovered from Gaza, while praising the “brave soldiers” who did so. (ANI)

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