Israeli troops recover body of hostage from Gaza’s Khan Younis, military says

Israeli troops recover body of hostage from Gaza’s Khan Younis, military says
Israeli troops recover body of hostage from Gaza’s Khan Younis, military says

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A man walks near a board with a slogan calling for the return of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from Gaza, in Tel Aviv April 6, 2024. — Reuters pic

JERUSALEM, April 6 — Israeli commandos have recovered the body of a hostage held in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, the military said today, three months after he pleaded for his release in a video issued by his Palestinian Islamic Jihad captors.

Elad Katzir, a 47-year-old farmer from Kibbutz Nir Oz, was among 253 people dragged into Gaza during an October 7 cross-border rampage by Hamas-led Palestinian gunmen that triggered Israel’s ongoing offensive in the enclave.

Katzir was killed by Islamic Jihad, the military statement said, citing intelligence information which it did not detail.

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There was no immediate comment on the Telegram channel used by Islamic Jihad during the war.

Katzir’s father, Avraham, was among some 1,200 people killed in Israel on October 7, according to official tallies, while his mother Hanna was also taken hostage but freed in November under a ceasefire with Hamas, Gaza’s dominant Islamist movement.

Qatari and Egyptian mediators have been trying, so far fruitlessly, to secure another truce that might return some of the 129 remaining hostages. Hamas wants any deal to end the war, which Gaza health officials say has killed more than 33,000 Palestinians. But Israel intends to fight on until Hamas falls.

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In a January 8 video posted by Islamic Jihad online, Katzir said: “I was close to dying more than once. It’s a miracle I’m still alive... I want to tell my family that I love them very much and I miss them very much.”

Based on various sources of information, Israel has declared at least 35 hostages as dead in Gaza captivity. Palestinian factions have said some were killed in Israeli strikes. While confirming this in several cases, Israel says that, in others, hostages whose bodies were recovered bore signs of execution. — Reuters

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