Shropshire Star

Bodies of three more October 7 hostages recovered from Gaza – Israeli army

The raid by Hamas last year triggered the war in Gaza.

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Israelis call for hostages' return

The bodies of three more hostages killed on October 7 have been recovered overnight from Gaza, Israel’s army said.

Military officials said the bodies of Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum, and Orion Hernandez have been identified and their families have been informed.

The army said they were killed on the day of the attack at the Mefalsim intersection and their bodies were taken to Gaza.

People hold up pictures of Israeli hostages
Relatives and supporters of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza hold photos of their loved ones during a performance calling for their return in Tel Aviv (AP)

The announcement comes less than a week after the army said it found the bodies of three other Israeli hostages killed on October 7.

Hamas-led militants killed around 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and abducted roughly 250 others in the October 7 attack.

Around half of those hostages have since been freed, most in swaps for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a week-long ceasefire in November.

Israel says around 100 hostages are still captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of around 30 more.

One of the dead hostages
Orion Hernandez Radoux (Hostages Families Forum Headquarters via AP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to both eliminate Hamas and bring all the hostages back, but he has made little progress.

He faces pressure to resign, and the US has threatened to scale back its support over the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

A ruling is also expected on Friday afternoon by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over an urgent plea by South Africa to order Israel to cease operations.

Israel is unlikely to comply with any such order. Even so, a ceasefire order by judges of the ICJ would heap more pressure on an increasingly isolated Israel.

Hanan Yablonka
Hanan Yablonka (Hostages Families Forum Headquarters via AP)

On the hostages, Israelis are divided into two main camps: those who want the government to put the war on hold and free the hostages, and others who think the hostages are an unfortunate price to pay for eradicating Hamas.

Negotiations mediated by Qatar, the United States and Egypt have produced little progress.

Meanwhile, anger is growing at home at the government’s handling of the hostage crisis.

Earlier this week a group representing the families of hostages released new video footage showing Hamas’ capture of five female Israeli soldiers near the Gaza border on October 7.

The video shows several of the young soldiers bloody and wounded. In one scene, a militant tells one of the terrified women she is beautiful.

The video sparked more protests across the country, calling for the hostages’ release.

Michel Nisenbaum
Michel Nisenbaum (Hostages Families Forum Headquarters via AP)

The group representing the families of the hostages said the bodies had been returned to their families for burial.

Mr Nisenbaum, 59, was a Brazilian-Israeli from the southern city of Sderot. He was taken hostage when he went to rescue his four-year-old granddaughter.

Orion Hernandez Radoux, 30, was a French-Mexican citizen taken from the Nova music festival, which he attended with his partner Shani Louk. Ms Louk’s body was one of those found by the army nearly a week ago.

Mr Yablonka, 42, a father-of-two, was also taken from the music festival. His family told the AP in December that he loved music.

His family received no news of him for nearly two months after he was taken hostage, not knowing if he was alive or dead.

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