Several hostage bodies retrieved from Gaza, Israeli army says

Israel - The Israeli army said Saturday that troops had retrieved the body of hostage Ron Benjamin from the war-torn Gaza Strip after he was "murdered" during the October 7 attack by Hamas.

Relatives and supporters lift placards bearing portraits of Israelis held hostage in Gaza since the October 7 attacks by Palestinian Hamas militants, during a rally calling for their release outside Israel's Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv on April 23, 2024.
Relatives and supporters lift placards bearing portraits of Israelis held hostage in Gaza since the October 7 attacks by Palestinian Hamas militants, during a rally calling for their release outside Israel's Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv on April 23, 2024.  © AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP

Military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Benjamin's body was recovered in the same operation that saw troops retrieve the remains of three other hostages, which was announced on Friday.

Benjamin was "murdered during the October 7th massacre at the Mefalsim intersection, and his body was abducted to Gaza by Hamas militants," the military said in a separate statement.

"His body was rescued along with the bodies of Yitzhak Gelerenter, Shani Louk, and Amit Buskila... based on precise intelligence obtained during the interrogations of terrorists who were apprehended in the Gaza Strip."

Ukraine launches massive attack on Crimean city as Russia blames US for death of beachgoers
Ukraine conflict Ukraine launches massive attack on Crimean city as Russia blames US for death of beachgoers

The military said on Friday troops had recovered the bodies of Louk, Buskila, and Gelerenter from Gaza after they were taken hostage during the attack on the Nova music festival.

Thousands of young people had gathered on October 6 and 7 to dance to electronic music at the event, which was held near Re'im kibbutz close to the Gaza border.

Fighters from Hamas crossed over from Gaza and killed more than 360 people at the festival, Israeli officials have said.

The Nova festival victims account for nearly a third of the more than 1,170 people killed in the October 7 attack, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Out of the 252 people taken hostage that day, 124 are still being held inside the Gaza Strip – including 37 the army says are dead.

Cover photo: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP

More on Israel-Gaza War: