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Israeli hostage Uriel Baruch confirmed as killed, body held by Hamas in Gaza

Baruch is 36th hostage to be officially declared dead since start of war

Uriel Baruch's son writes the finishing letters in a new Torah Scroll dedicated to the return of the hostages and in memory of the civilians and soldiers killed in war, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, Nov. 21, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Tikva Forum for Families of Hostages announced on Tuesday that 35-year-old Uriel Baruch, who was taken captive from the Nova Music Festival near Kibbutz Re’im has been killed in captivity. 

According to Tikva Forum, which is an alternative to the Hostage and Missing Families Forum, the IDF informed Baruch’s family that he had been killed after being taken captive and his body is being held by Hamas in Gaza. 

Baruch attended the Nova festival with his friend Michael Yoav and was reportedly captured by terrorists while trying to flee in Yoav's car. His family last saw Baruch in a social media video, standing outside the car, while Yoav, who had been fatally shot, was inside the vehicle.

Baruch left behind his wife Racheli and two sons. 

Uriel Baruch is the 36th hostage to be officially announced dead by the IDF since the war began. 

The Tikvah Forum released a statement on behalf of the family: “Uriel was a happy and loved man, he was loved by everyone around him. We will remember his smile, the love for each person in him.” 

The Hostage and Missing Families Forum also released a statement. 

"We share in the heavy sorrow of the Baruch family,” read the statement. “The late Uriel Baruch was a happy person who loved life and loved spending time. Uriel worked in the field of building materials and loved techno music.”

We met at a rave, we realized immediately that we belong together and a great love developed,” Baruch's wife Racheli told Israeli media last month: “Within six months we got married, I got pregnant. We are different in every aspect, and people who meet us find it hard to believe that we are a couple. But in essence, we are two halves of a whole.” 

In November, Baruch’s younger brother Idan told the Jerusalem Post that his brother was generous and caring. At the time, he said the family was waiting for an indication that Uriel was still alive. 

“Just to show us videos – even two seconds – so that we can see that they are okay; we are not looking for more than that. That would help us keep our hopes up,” Idan said.

“Even if we just get a sign of life, that he is okay, we will calm down. Part of our stress is that we are living with uncertainty.” 

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

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