The Israeli army has confirmed the death of five captive hostages in the Gaza Strip, its spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, announced on Friday, specifying that it had informed the families.
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“In recent days, the Israeli army and police informed the families of hostages Eliyahu Margalit, Maya Goren, Ronen Engel and Arye Zalmanovitz of their deaths,” he said at a press briefing.
“A committee of experts from the Ministry of Health, the Institute of Forensic Medicine, the Chief Rabbinate and the Ministry of Religious Affairs established their death on the basis of conclusions (of an investigation) and information from intelligence,” he explained.
Furthermore, “during a joint operation with the Shin Beth (the internal security service), based on specific information, we brought back the body of hostage Ofir Zarfati for burial in Israel “, he added.
Of the approximately 240 people kidnapped on October 7 during the unprecedented deadly Hamas attack in southern Israel, then taken to the Gaza Strip, 137 are still being held there, Israeli authorities announced earlier.
Fighting and bombardments resumed Friday morning in the Gaza Strip after a week of truce.
In retaliation for the October 7 attack, which left 1,200 dead, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities, Israel launched a massive bombing campaign on Gaza, followed by a ground operation.
Israeli operations have left more than 15,000 dead, mostly civilians, according to Hamas, which took power in Gaza in 2007.