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IDF retrieves body of Israeli hostage Elad Katzir from Khan Younis in special op

Katzir was physically and mentally tortured, murdered in January by PIJ

A poster with the picture of Elad Katzir at a rally for release of Israeli hostages (Photo: Carmit Palty Katzir/Facebook)

The body of Israeli citizen Elad Katzir was retrieved from the Gaza Strip, where he had been held hostage since Oct. 7 before being murdered, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Saturday evening.

Katzir was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz during Hamas’ murderous invasion last October, together with his mother, who was freed in the hostage release deal in November. His father was murdered by terrorists.

One hundred and eighty-two days later, Katzir’s body was retrieved from a compound in Khan Younis by IDF commando units that were provided with intelligence from Shin Bet regarding where he had been held by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists.

IDF dug up Katzir’s buried body and medical officials at the Institute of Forensic Medicine confirmed his identity before his family was informed of his recovery.

No other bodies were found during the raid, a security source told Army Radio.

The IDF believes Katzir was murdered in the middle of January. In a statement, Kibbutz Nir Oz said that he suffered “physical and mental torture in captivity” before he was murdered.

Katzir was featured in two short video clips released in December and January as part of the PIJ terrorists’ psychological warfare.

Since then, his family hasn’t received any information about his condition and believed he was still alive.

During the operation to retrieve Katzir's body, the soldiers from the Egoz commando unit eliminated several terrorists who were surrounding the compound.

The army said Israeli troops suffered no casualties in the raid that continued throughout the night.

“The IDF and Shin Bet share in the family’s grief,” they said in a joint statement.

“The IDF and the Shin Bet work closely and in full coordination with the relevant national and security bodies to meet this mission, and will not let up until it is completed.”

With Katzir’s death, 133 Israeli hostages remain in Hamas captivity, of whom 35 are estimated to be dead.

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

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