Israeli Army Says Body Of Hostage Recovered From Gaza

The recovery of Elad Katzir's body brings to 12 the number which the army says it has brought home from Gaza during the war.

Relatives of victims of the October 7 attacks carried out by Palestinian militants visit at an installation bearing the photos of their loved ones who were killed or kidnapped during the event, at the site of the Nova festival in Re’im in southern Israel on April 2, 2024. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)


Israel’s army said on Saturday its troops recovered the body of a hostage abducted by Palestinian militants during the October 7 attack on southern Israeli communities.

The recovery of Elad Katzir’s body brings to 12 the number which the army says it has brought home from Gaza during the war.

But it gave no comfort to his sister, who blamed Israeli authorities for his death.

“The body of the abductee Elad Katzir, who according to intelligence was murdered in captivity by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organisation, was rescued overnight from Khan Yunis and returned to Israeli territory,” the army said in a statement.

Katzir, 47 at the time of attack, was abducted from Nir Oz kibbutz community along his mother Hanna.

She was released on November 24 during a one-week truce in the war in Gaza. Katzir’s father Avraham was killed during the attack at the kibbutz, the army said.

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“Elad was kidnapped from his home in Nir Oz in one piece,” Carmit Palty Katzir, his sister, wrote on her Facebook page.

She blamed the Israeli authorities for her brother’s death, saying he would have returned alive had the authorities agreed to a new truce deal.

“Our leadership is cowardly and driven by political consideration, which is why this deal has not happened yet,” she wrote.

“Prime Minister, war cabinet, and coalition members: Look at yourself in the mirror and say if your hands didn’t spill blood.”

Her comments reflect intensifying pressure on the coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over its handling of the war.

Negotiators were expected in Cairo over the weekend for a renewed push to strike a ceasefire-hostage deal as the war in Gaza reaches the six-month mark on Sunday.

Stop-start talks have made no headway since a week-long truce in November, the only one since the start of the war, saw the exchange of some hostages for Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel.

The bloodiest-ever Gaza war began on October 7 with an unprecedented attack from Gaza by Hamas militants resulting in the death of 1,170 people in southern Israel, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel has relentlessly bombarded the territory by air, land and sea, killing at least 33,137 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.