The Israeli military said on Sunday that it recovered the bodies of five hostages who were killed while in Hamas captivity. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) also released a video showing a Hamas tunnel network in Gaza City after locating three bodies on Sunday, following the retrieval of two others from a different area two weeks ago.
“In a centralized intelligence effort, IDF troops located and recovered the bodies of 5 hostages abducted during the October 7 massacre and brought them back to Israel,” the IDF posted on X.
In a centralized intelligence effort, IDF troops located and recovered the bodies of 5 hostages—abducted during the October 7 Massacre—and brought them back to Israel:
🕯️WO Ziv Dado
🕯️SGT Ron Sherman
🕯️CPL Nik Beizer
May their memory be a… pic.twitter.com/tq1UlLo8Z2
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 24, 2023
Earlier this month, the bodies of Ziv Dado, a 36-year-old Israeli soldier, and Eden Zakaria, a 27-year-old attendee at a music festival in southern Israel attacked by Hamas, were recovered after being taken hostage on October 7. The remaining three bodies, identified as Sgt Ron Sherman, Cpl Nik Beizer, and Elia Toledano, have now been found on the eve of Christmas.
Footage posted by the IDF on X shows Israeli troops paying their respects to the fallen hostages. “The three fallen soldiers that we have recovered from here today, and it is a supreme value to bring our people to a proper burial in the Land of Israel,” remarked a soldier in the video.
On Saturday, Hamas reported losing contact with a group responsible for the five hostages held captive in the Gaza Strip, speculating that they had been killed during an Israeli raid. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said at least 60 people have been killed in an Israeli air strike on Sunday.
On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel from Gaza. According to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures, approximately 1,140 people lost their lives in the assault, with the majority being civilians.
Hamas and other Palestinian militants seized around 250 hostages during the attack. Of these hostages, 105 have been released, while several others have died, including casualties from friendly fire incidents.
In response, Israel launched an unrelenting air and ground offensive with the declared aim of destroying the militant group. According to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory, the conflict has claimed the lives of at least 20,424 people, with a disproportionate number being women and children.