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Israel confirms death of hostage held in Gaza

By AFP

May 3, 2024 04:13 PM


Israel confirms death of hostage held in Gaza

Relatives and supporters set up large cardboard cutout portraits of Israeli women held hostage in Gaza since the October 7 attacks, during a protest calling for their release in front of the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem.–AFP

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An Israeli man held hostage in Gaza since the October 7 Hamas attack has been confirmed dead, the government and the kibbutz where he had lived said early Friday.

Dror Or, 49, is the latest hostage to have been confirmed dead by Israel after begin captured during the Hamas attack that triggered war with Israel.

Or was killed and his body held in Gaza since October 7, the Beeri kibbutz said. It was one of the communities hardest hit in the Hamas attack on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

His wife Yonat was killed in the initial attack while two of their three children, Noam and Alma, aged 17 and 13, were abducted and then freed in November as part of a ceasefire and hostages-for-prisoners swap deal between Israel and Hamas.

Israel estimates that 129 captives seized by militants during their attack remain in Gaza. The military says 35 of them are dead including Or.

"We are heartbroken to share that Dror Or, who was kidnapped by Hamas on October 7, had been confirmed as murdered and his body is being held in Gaza," the Israeli government said on X.

The two children and their brother Yahli are now orphans, it added.

Campaign group the Hostages and Missing Families Forum said it will provide assistance to Or's family.

The forum and Israeli government did not say how they learned of Or's death.

"Only by securing the release of all hostages, the living for rehabilitation, the deceased for burial can our people's revival and future be ensured," the forum said in a statement.

"Israeli government must exhaust every effort to bring Dror and... the other murdered hostages back for honourable burials in Israel."

Or's death was announced as mediators Qatar, the United States and Egypt await Hamas's response to a new Israeli proposal for a ceasefire and hostage release.

In late November during a week-long truce, 105 hostages were released including 80 Israelis and people from other countries in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians held by Israel.

The war started with Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 34,596 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.


AFP


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