Israel announces deaths of another 4 hostages in Hamas captivity

by IANS |

Jerusalem, June 4 (IANS) The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said that they have confirmed the deaths of another four Israeli hostages taken to the Gaza Strip by Hamas on October 7, 2023, claiming the Gaza-ruling group is still holding their bodies.

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Monday that the Israeli forces estimate "that the four were killed together in the Khan Younis area several months ago" when the Israeli forces were operating there.

He noted that the confirmation of their deaths was based on intelligence information and was approved by an expert committee at the Health Ministry, Xinhua news agency reported.

He added that the IDF is conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances of their death and is examining all possibilities.

The IDF identified the four victims as Amiram Cooper, Chaim Peri, Yoram Metzger and Nadav Popplewell.

Cooper, Peri and Metzger, in their 80s, were residents of Nir Oz near the Gaza Strip border and were seen alive in a video released by Hamas in December. Popplewell, 51, was from the village of Nirim near Nir Oz. He was last seen alive in a video released by Hamas in early May.

Earlier on Monday, the IDF announced that it had located and identified the body of 36-year-old medic Dolev Yehud in his village Nir Oz. Yehud, who had been considered taken hostage until Monday was killed by Hamas on October 7, according to the army.

Currently, 124 Israeli hostages remain held in the Gaza Strip, with Israel declaring 43 of them dead.

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