Another Israeli Hostage’s Body Recovered, the Death Angering His Family

By John Mercury April 9, 2024

The Israeli military said on Saturday that it had recovered the body of an Israeli hostage who was abducted during the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack, almost six months after he was taken hostage.

The man, identified as Elad Katzir, 47, was a farmer in Nir Oz, a kibbutz near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip that was one of the areas hardest hit in the attack on Oct. 7, in which 1,200 Israelis died and about 250 people were taken hostage, according to the Israeli authorities. His body was recovered by troops in Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza where the Israeli army has been operating since December, and returned to Israel overnight, the military said.

After the announcement of the recovery and return of Mr. Katzir’s body, Mr. Katzir’s sister, Carmit, bitterly denounced the Israeli government in a social media post for failing to secure her brother’s release.

“He could have been saved if there had been a deal in time,” she wrote. “But our leadership are cowards, motivated by political considerations, and thus it did not happen.

“Your story shouldn’t have ended like this,” she wrote to her brother. “I’m sorry we couldn’t save you. I love you forever.”

Mr. Katzir was killed in mid-January, an Israeli military official told a press briefing on Saturday, while being held in Gaza by a militant group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Around 8 p.m. on Friday night, the official said, Israeli forces arrived in southern Khan Younis, isolated the area and excavated his body from where he was buried underground.

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