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The Israeli military has announced the recovery of the bodies of three hostages, including two soldiers, held by Hamas.
The soldiers, Cpl. Nik Beizer and Sgt. Ron Sherman, both 19, were captured at the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7. Additionally, the body of 28-year-old civilian Elia Toledano was also recovered, as stated in the military’s announcement. In a statement, the Israeli military reaffirmed its commitment to locating the missing and returning all hostages, saying, “Our national mission is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home.”
Video showing two of the three hostages when they were initially kidnapped on October 7.
This hostage situation occurred amid a broader conflict where approximately 1,200 people were killed, and 200 were taken hostage by Hamas, including both soldiers and civilians. A significant breakthrough came earlier this month during a weeklong ceasefire when over 100 women and children hostages were released.
The ongoing conflict has led to substantial international concern. The Israeli government faces mounting pressure from the US and other world powers to de-escalate its military operations in Gaza, primarily due to worries about civilian casualties. Despite two months of fighting, Hamas operations have remained mainly intact, raising questions about the Israeli military’s strategy.
The Gaza Health Ministry reports over 18,400 Palestinian casualties, and the United Nations states that nearly the entire population of 2.3 million in Gaza has been displaced and needs humanitarian aid. A recent UN resolution, which only Israel and eight other nations opposed, called for a ceasefire to aid civilians in Gaza.