Body of Israeli hostage found overnight during IDF operation in Gaza

The body of another Israeli hostage was found in the Gaza Strip and returned to Israel Friday night.

“The operation to recover the body started at 8:00 p.m. (last night) and lasted for several hours, where his body was exhumed from the basement in a compound located in the southern part of Khan Yunes,” an official said military at Fox News Jerusalem. Desk. “His body was then brought to Israel for further identification.”

“The entire effort was led and supported by extensive ground and air activities,” the official said, adding that the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups still have 133 hostages hidden.

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The official identified the body as that of 47-year-old Elad Katzir. His mother, Hanna, was also a hostage but was released on November 24, 2023, as part of the temporary ceasefire in force at the time.

IDF troops near Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.

Shifa Hospital's 162nd Division, Nahal Reconnaissance Unit troops eliminated armed terrorists in close encounters, cleared several buildings inside the hospital, and located numerous weapons hidden inside inside the various medical devices of the MRI complex as well as on the roof of the hospital. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.) (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.)

A joint statement from the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that Katzir was “murdered in captivity”, probably in January this year. Katzir's sister, in a Facebook post, claimed that Hamas murdered her brother, while the ISA and IDF indicated that Islamic Jihad likely bore responsibility.

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“Following an overnight identification procedure by medical officials from the Institute of Forensic Medicine, IDF and ISA representatives informed Elad Katzir's family that his body had been rescued “, the press release said. “The Israeli army and the ISA express their deepest condolences to the family.”

Al-Shifa Hospital

Smoke rises during an Israeli strike near al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on March 28, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images) (AFP)

Katzir and his mother were among those kidnapped on October 7 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. The ISA and IDF stressed that they were working “in full coordination with relevant national and security agencies and will continue until the task is completed” to recover all the hostages.

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Katzir was a farmer and social activist who volunteered for the “Hadar Foundation”, fighting for the release of two Israeli soldiers whose bodies are being held in Gaza.

Yael Rotem-Kuriel and Yonat Friling of Fox News contributed to this report.

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