Bodies of three hostages recovered from Gaza in overnight operation: IDF

Author:HT News Desk 2024-05-18 10:50 8

Bodies of three hostages were recovered from the war-torn Gaza Strip on Friday amid fierce fighting between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas, the Israeli military announced in a statement.

Palestinians walk past damaged and destroyed buildings in Gaza City on May 17, 2024 amid the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas. (Photo by AFP)

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The victims are Itzhak Gelerenter, Amit Buskila, and Shani Louk, and their bodies were discovered in an overnight operation, according to the statement, which quoted IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

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“The victims were at the Supernova music festival on the morning of the Hamas-led October 7 onslaught, where they then fled to the Mefalsim area. There, they were killed by the Hamas terrorists, and their bodies were taken to Gaza,” Rear Admiral Hagari said.

Of the three hostages, two – Gelerenter and Buskila – were earlier 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 the terrorists kidnapping her.

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The recovery operations have been “going on for a long time already,” the IDF spokesperson further stated, adding that the intelligence came from some of the arrested Palestinian terror suspects.

"The intense fighting in all parts of the Gaza Strip continues. The task of utmost importance of returning the hostages is on the mind of every commander and fighter in the field," he added.

The Israeli military also called on the public to refrain from spreading rumours.

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“Keep our forces safe. Listen to the IDF spokesperson's messages and the official bodies only. We will update with any information that is available, transparently, first of all the families and then the public through the media,” said Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

Hamas's October 2023 attack on southern Israel claimed more than 1170 people, mostly civilians, with several others taken as hostages, as per the Israeli official figures.

The IDF's military retaliation has killed at least 35,272 people, also mostly civilians, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

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Title:Bodies of three hostages recovered from Gaza in overnight operation: IDF