Bodies of three hostages killed at October 7 music festival recovered in Gaza

18 May 2024, 09:34

Itzhak Gelerenter, Shani Louk and Amit Buskila
Israel-Palestinians-Hostages. Picture: PA

A military spokesman said all three were killed by Hamas at the Nova music festival.

The Israeli military said its troops in Gaza have found the bodies of three Israeli hostages killed by Hamas during its October 7 attack, including German-Israeli Shani Louk.

A photo of the 22-year-old’s body in the back of a truck spread around the world and brought to light the scale of the militants’ attack on communities in southern Israel.

The military identified the other two bodies found as those of a 28-year-old woman, Amit Buskila, and a 56-year-old man, Itzhak Gelerenter.

All three were killed by Hamas while fleeing the Nova music festival, an outdoor dance party near the Gaza border, where militants killed hundreds of people, military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said at a news conference.

Photos of hostages held in the Gaza Strip on a wall  in Tel Aviv, Israel
Photos of hostages held in the Gaza Strip on a wall in Tel Aviv, Israel (Oded Balilty/AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deaths “heartbreaking”, saying: “We will return all of our hostages, both the living and the dead.”

The military said the bodies were found overnight, without elaborating, and did not give immediate details on where they were located.

Israel has been operating in the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Rafah, where it says it has intelligence that hostages are being held.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deaths ‘heartbreaking’ (Debbie Hill/Pool Photo via AP)

Hamas-led militants killed around 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and abducted around 250 others in the October 7 attack.

Around half of those have since been freed, most in swaps for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a ceasefire in November.

Israel says around 100 hostages are still captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of around 30 more.

Israel’s campaign in Gaza since the attack has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials.

Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip
Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip (Tsafrir Abayov/AP)

Mr Netanyahu has vowed to both eliminate Hamas and bring all the hostages back, but he has made little progress. He faces pressure to resign, and the US has threatened to scale back its support over the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Israelis are divided into two main camps: those who want the government to put the war on hold and free the hostages, and others who think the hostages are an unfortunate price to pay for eradicating Hamas.

By Press Association

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