• 23 Jun, 2024

A German-Israeli tattoo artist was among the three dead hostages recovered by Israel.

A German-Israeli tattoo artist was among the three dead hostages recovered by Israel.

According to Israel, Hamas killed three civilians as they tried to flee the Oct. 7 Nova festival massacre.

The Israeli military has recovered the bodies of three hostages from Gaza, top military spokesman Daniel Hagari announced on Friday.

Among them was Shani Luke, a 22-year-old German-Israeli woman who was widely circulated by Hamas when she attacked the Nova Festival, an evening music event, near the Gaza border on October 7. Appeared in the hostage video taken by

Luke's parents told The Washington Post the day after the massacre that they recognized Luke's tattoos and her long dreadlocks from footage released hours after the attack.

She appeared face down and unconscious in the back seat of a pickup truck as militants surrounded her and cheered her. After watching her video, Luke's mother posted asking for "help and news" about her daughter. It was initially believed that Hamas had kidnapped him alive, but his mother told German media in October that Israeli forces had confirmed his death after part of his skull was found. . However, it was hoped that the other two hostages would still be alive.

The remaining two dead were identified as Amit Baskira, a fashion stylist who was on the phone with his uncle during the massacre, and Yitzhak Gelanter, who arrived at the scene hours before the attack.

Hagari said all three were "killed by Hamas while fleeing from the Nova Music Festival, and their bodies were taken to Gaza." He did not say where the body was recovered from. Israeli media reported that the body was recovered from a Hamas tunnel, and the military said it had located the body through "interrogations." Israel is currently conducting ground operations in the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday thanked the soldiers who carried out the military operation, called the discovery "heartbreaking" and called for the return of all 129 remaining hostages, "living and dead alike." He reaffirmed his promise.

Hamas said other hostages would only be released through a ceasefire.

He said, "The enemy will only obtain prisoners as lifeless corpses or in honorable exchanges with our people," the newspaper said. The fighting between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas, which has lasted for more than seven months, was sparked by a surprise incursion by Palestinian militants into Israeli territory on October 7, 2023, leaving around 1,200 people dead.

 Read more: Families identified among Hamas hostages, Israelis appeal for help

Hamas also took more than 200 hostages, half of whom were later released in a prisoner exchange.

More than 35,000 Palestinians were killed and 78,755 injured as a result of Israeli retaliatory attacks in the Gaza Strip, according to health authorities in the exclave.

Qatar, one of the international mediators in the Israel-Hamas conflict, announced this week that ceasefire talks had reached an impasse following an Israeli military attack in the town of Rafah.

An Israeli official told news site Ynet last week that talks had not completely failed and that indirect talks would resume "if there is a cooperative response from Hamas."