Bodies of three hostages recovered from Gaza, Israel’s army says

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  • Author, Raffi Berg
  • Role, BBC News

Israeli forces have recovered the bodies of three hostages in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) say.

The bodies were those of Shani Louk, Amit Buskila and Itzhak Gelerenter, the statement said. The Israeli military said they were murdered on October 7 and their remains were taken back to Gaza.

Local media reported that the bodies were found in a Hamas tunnel.

Around 1,200 people were killed in an unprecedented attack when Hamas gunmen stormed into Israel. They brought 252 others back to Gaza as hostages.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the news “heartbreaking.”

“We will return all our hostages, living and deceased,” he said.

In a statement, the Israeli army said the bodies were found during an operation carried out overnight. He said he acted on information gleaned from “interrogations of terrorists” detained in Gaza.

It said the three victims were killed at an intersection near the site of the Nova festival massacre in southern Israel before their bodies were taken to Gaza.

More than 360 people were killed during the festival. Around 125 hostages are still missing, the others having been freed or rescued.

The Hostage Families Forum, a group of relatives of those detained, said they “bow their heads with deep sadness and broken hearts following the news of the killings of Shani Louk, Itzik Gelernter and Amit Buskila, May their memories be unforgettable.” blessing, by the Hamas terrorists.

Under a deal reached in November, Hamas released 105 hostages in exchange for a one-week ceasefire and some 240 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

It is unclear how many of the missing people are still alive.

After the October 7 attacks, Israel launched an offensive in Gaza that killed more than 35,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

Around 2.2 million Palestinians are in need of food, shelter and other assistance, according to the UN.

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