Bodies of three hostages taken at Oct. 7 music festival in Israel are recovered

The Israel Defense Forces announced on Friday that they have recovered the bodies of three Israeli hostages who were kidnapped and killed by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Shani Louk, 23, Amit Buskila, 28, and Yitzhak Gelernter, 57, were tragically killed during the horrific attack carried out by Hamas at the Nova Music Festival on October 7.

According to IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari, the victims at the Nova Music Festival were not just celebrating life, but they were tragically murdered by Hamas.

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The bodies of the deceased were recovered by IDF troops and subsequently handed over to medical professionals for forensic examination and identification, according to Hagari. The families were promptly informed of the developments.

“We are deeply saddened by this devastating loss. My wife Sara and I share in the grief of the families,” expressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a heartfelt statement. He commended the military operation and reaffirmed his commitment to bringing back all the remaining hostages.

“We will ensure the safe return of all our hostages, regardless of their condition,” declared Netanyahu.

According to the Israel’s Government Press Office, approximately 129 hostages are still being held captive in Gaza following their recent release. Tragically, Israeli officials have confirmed that at least 37 of them are believed to have lost their lives. Additionally, the Biden administration has reported that five American citizens are among those who are still being held hostage.

“Our hearts go out to the families who are dealing with this terrible news,” expressed John Kirby, a White House spokesman, conveying his sympathy. He further mentioned that the U.S. does not possess any updated information regarding the status of the five American hostages.

The Biden administration has been actively engaged in efforts to broker a temporary cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas, with a key focus on securing the release of hostages. According to Kirby, the recent distressing news might not have a significant impact on the ongoing negotiations for the hostage deal.

The US-built Gaza pier is now open, allowing trucks to deliver aid to the population that has been isolated due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Nissim Louk, the father of Shani Louk, expressed to the Haaretz newspaper in Israel that the recovery of his daughter’s body brings a sense of closure. He described his daughter as someone who “radiated light” to both herself and those around her, and even in her passing, she continues to do so.

Nissim Louk described her as a symbol of the people of Israel, representing the contrast between light and darkness. He emphasized her unique beauty, both inside and out, which radiated for everyone to witness.

Related: Israelis wonder if the world has forgotten their hostages six months after the trauma of October 7th.

The Hostages Families Forum Headquarters, also known as Bring Them Home Now, released a statement expressing their profound sorrow and broken hearts.

“The group expressed the painful and stark reminder that the return of their bodies serves as a poignant call to swiftly bring back all our brothers and sisters from their cruel captivity. The living should be given the opportunity for rehabilitation, while the murdered should be laid to rest in a proper burial,” emphasized the group.

Israel has successfully retrieved the remains of three individuals who were held hostage during a music festival on October 7.

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