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Israeli army recovers the bodies of Israeli civilian and two soldiers taken as hostages on Oct. 7

It is unknown when the three hostages were killed or where they were held

Israeli hostages Ron Sherman, Elia Toledano and Nik Beizer whose bodies were retrieved by the IDF, December 15, 2023 (Photo courtesy)

The Israeli army successfully retrieved the bodies of one Israeli civilian and two IDF soldiers who were taken as hostages into the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, the IDF announced on Friday.

The bodies were identified as Elia Toledano (28), Cpl. Nik Beizer (19) and Sgt. Ron Sherman (19).

Toledano was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from the rave party on Kibbutz Re’im on Oct. 7, and since then, his family didn’t know if he was alive or dead.

“The smile of all of us went out today for good,” Elia’s brother Daniel told Israel's Ynet news outlet.

“My little brother Elia was a man full of joy, a symbol of true friendship and endless giving. To imagine that I will never see his sweet smile again, makes me never want to smile again without him. A true star was taken from all of us today without whom the sky is incomplete,” Daniel added.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna sent condolences to Toledano’s family, who are dual French and Israeli citizens.

“We share the grief of his family and loved ones. The release of all hostages is our priority,” she wrote.

Nik Beizer was a resident of Beersheva and had begun his service as a military driver less than half a year before, while Ron Sherman, from Lehavim, served as a Coordination and Liaison officer.

Unlike Toledano, footage filmed by Hamas terrorists showed them being kidnapped and taken into the Gaza Strip.

"We believed he would return to us alive, but unfortunately we were informed this morning that he is gone," Sherman's father told Ynet. "What can one say about a 19-year-old who has his whole life ahead of him, full of life, intelligent, happy, a good student surrounded by friends and dreams? I was very optimistic."

"Nik had a technical sense, and he dreamed of a military career," the hostage families' headquarters said about Beizer. "His family says that from the age of 14, he started helping in the family business: 'He is a handyman, he has good hands and his hobby is cooking'... Nick loved animals and volunteering. His family says that he always liked to help people."

The operations that led to the retrieval of the bodies were carried out by soldiers of the IDF's 551st Brigade and Military Intelligence Unit 504, under the command of the 162nd Division.

Israel Defense Forces didn’t provide explanations as to how and when the three Israeli hostages were killed or where in the Gaza Strip they were held.

“We share in the grief of the families and will continue to support them,” the IDF said in a statement.

“The national mission were are focused on is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home. We are working together with the security agencies, using all the intelligence and operational means to return all the abductees home.”

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

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