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IDF announcement: Sahar Baruch, taken hostage by Hamas on Oct.7, was killed in a rescue attempt

Sahar Baruch, in a propaganda video released by Hamas on December 8, 2023. (Photo: Screenshot/Telegram)

Israel Defense Forces announced on Wednesday that Israeli civilian Sahar Baruch, who was kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 during its invasion of southern Israel border communities, was killed on Dec. 8, at some point during the IDF troops' attempt to rescue him.

On Dec. 9, the IDF first announced that Baruch was killed by Hamas while in the custody of the terrorist organization without giving further details.

The IDF said that at this stage it could not fully establish how 25-year-old Baruch, an electrical engineering student, was killed and whether he was murdered by Hamas or killed as a result of Israeli friendly fire during the failed rescue attempt on Dec. 8. The IDF could also not confirm at what stage Baruch was killed during the military's attempt to rescue him.

Baruch appeared in a gruesome Hamas propaganda video in December in which he said he wanted to go home.

“I am Sahar Baruch and I was captured on October 7. It has been 40 days and I want to go home.”

The video then cuts to an image of Baruch’s dead body lying on a bed in Hamas captivity. Hamas claimed that Baruch was killed by the IDF while attempting to free him.

Baruch’s brother Idan and his grandmother Geula Bachar were both murdered by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7. It is estimated that 10% of Kibbutz Be'eri's 1,100 residents were killed and an equal number kidnapped during the unprecedented massacre.

Baruch's aunt told Israeli media at the time how Sahar and his brother had sought to protect themselves from the terrorists.

“Sahar was at home with his brother Idan at his mother’s house,” the aunt said in an interview in December. “They woke up in the morning, like the rest of us, from alerts and the explosions. They entered and closed themselves in the mammad [protected space] but couldn’t close the door, so they closed it with a closet.”

“When the fire started, three grenades were thrown into the mammad – Idan was hit and Sahar treated him for hours,” the aunt continued. The brothers decided to jump from the home when it began to burn.

“In the beginning, Idan jumped and probably near that, he was shot and killed. Sahar stayed behind for a few more minutes to bring him the inhaler because Idan was asthmatic. For more than two weeks we did not know what happened to him, and then some information was received that he was not in Israeli territory,” she said.

The only Israeli hostage to have been rescued by the IDF until now is a female IDF soldier, Ori Megidish, who was freed by the IDF in November.

The body of Baruch is still being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It is estimated that 129 people abducted by terrorists during the brutal assault on Oct. 7 remain in Gaza but not all of them alive, as the IDF has confirmed at least 23 of those hostages have been killed by Hamas.

Since 2014, Hamas has also held the bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were both killed during Operation Protective Edge. Two Israeli civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are both thought to be alive after entering the Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015, also remain captive in the Gaza Strip.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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