All Israel

IDF retrieves bodies of 4 Israeli hostages from Gaza Strip in commando raid

Hamas terrorists murdered the four Israelis and took their bodies to Gaza

Top left to bottom right: Yitzhak Gelernter, Shani Louk, Ron Binyamin, Amit Buskila (Photo: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The bodies of three Israeli hostages who were murdered by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 were recovered in a joint raid by Israel Defense Forces and the domestic intelligence service Shin Bet in the Gaza Strip, the army announced on Friday evening.

In a separate statement on Saturday evening, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari announced that the body of Ron Binyamin (53) had been retrieved, as well.

Hagari said Yitzhak Gelernter (57), Shani Louk (23) and Amit Buskila (28), were murdered at the Nova Music Festival near Kibbutz Re’im before their bodies were kidnapped into the Gaza Strip. Binyamin was murdered during a bike ride near Kibbutz Be’eri.

Soldiers from the IDF and Shin Bet operational units recovered the bodies following intelligence gathered during the interrogation of terrorists detained in the Gaza Strip. This intelligence was supported by the efforts of the Prisoners and Missing Persons Headquarters within the IDF Intelligence Division.

The raid that led to the recovery of the four bodies took place during ongoing IDF operations in northern Gaza and in Rafah, located in the southern Gaza Strip. These operations continue to face criticism from the Biden administration and other Western nations.

The families of the hostages were informed on Friday following an identification procedure performed by medical officials at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Health Ministry.

In a rare Friday evening statement, after the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, Hagari urged the Israeli public to avoid spreading baseless rumors.

In the hours preceding the official announcement, various Israeli social media channels were abuzz with rumors about the military operation.

Shani Louk, a dual German-Israeli citizen, was confirmed to have died in late October after a skull fragment was found in the Gaza Strip.

After Oct. 7, footage showing Louk’s lifeless body being paraded through the streets of Gaza became one of the most searing images of the Hamas terror attack. A photograph of the slain young woman later received a prestigious award as "Photo of the Year" from the Reynolds Journalism Institute, which caused widespread outrage.

Louk’s parents expressed relief to be able to bury their daughter. Her mother Ricarda said it would comfort her to have her daughter’s grave nearby. “Maybe we’ll find more peace,” she added.

Until Friday, it was presumed that both Gelernter and Buskila were still alive. It is now believed that Hamas is holding at least 39 bodies of the remaining 133 hostages that were kidnapped from Israel on Oct. 7.

Gelernter’s son Ilai said the family was struggling with “difficult feelings” after holding out hope for months that Yitzhak would return alive.

“This is a second blow, after the first time we heard about what happened,” he told Walla News while adding that the family took solace that Yitzhak could be buried in Israel.

The IDF also confirmed the death of two Thai nationals who had worked in agriculture in Kibbutz Be’eri and were kidnapped on Oct. 7. Their bodies are still being held in Gaza.

“The IDF and the Shin Bet continue, even at this time, using all operational and intelligence measures, while taking operational risks, to realize the supreme national mission of returning all the hostages,” the security services stated.

“The IDF and Shin Bet share in the grief of the families at this difficult time.”

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

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories