Israeli army finds bodies of three more hostages in Gaza

Israeli army finds bodies of three more hostages in Gaza

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The bodies of three more hostages killed on Oct. 7 were recovered overnight in Gaza, Israel’s military said Friday, the United Nations’ top court reported. prepares to govern on whether Israel should stop its military operations and withdraw from the enclave.

the bodies of Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum and Orion Hernandez Radoux were found and their families have been notified. The army said they were killed on the day of the attack at the Mefalsim crossing and their bodies were taken to Gaza.

The announcement comes less than a week after the military said it had found The bodies of three other Israeli hostages. murdered on October 7.

Hamas-led militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped about 250 more in the Oct. 7 attack. Approximately half of those hostages They have since been releasedmost in exchanges for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a week-long ceasefire in November.

Israel says around 100 hostages remain captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of at least 39 others, while 17 hostage bodies have been recovered.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to eliminate Hamas and bring back all the hostages, but has made little progress. He faces pressure to resign, and the The United States has threatened to reduce their support for the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

On Friday, Netanyahu said the country had a duty to do everything possible to return those kidnapped, both those killed and those alive.

In a Friday

The country is also awaiting a ruling Friday afternoon from the International Court of Justice to rule on an urgent request by South Africa to order Israel to cease operations. Israel is unlikely to comply with such an order. Still, a ceasefire order by judges at the International Court of Justice would put more pressure on a Israel increasingly isolated.

Regarding the hostages, Israelis are divided into two main camps: those who want the government to call off the war and release the hostages, and others who think the hostages are an unfortunate price to pay to eradicate Hamas. Intermittent negotiations mediated by Qatar, the United States and Egypt have yielded little result.

Anger is growing at home over the government’s handling of the hostage crisis.

Earlier this week, a group representing the families of the hostages released new video images showing Hamas’s capture of five female Israeli soldiers near the Gaza border on October 7.

The video shows several of the young soldiers bloodied and injured. In one scene, a militant tells one of the terrified women that she is beautiful.

The video sparked more protests across the country calling for the release of the hostages.

The military said Friday that the hostages were found during an operation in Jabaliya. Military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said at a news conference that the military was able to recover the bodies based on “critical intelligence” discovered last week by Israeli forces operating in Gaza.

The group representing the hostages’ families said the bodies had been returned to their families for burial.

Nisenbaum, 59, was a Brazilian-Israeli from the southern city of Sderot. He was taken hostage when he went to rescue his 4-year-old granddaughter.

Oryon Hernandez Radoux, 30, was pulled from the Nova music festival, which he attended with his partner Shani Louk. Louk’s body was one of those found by the army almost a week ago.

Yablonka, a 42-year-old father of two, was also removed from the music festival. In December, his family told the AP that he loved music. Yablonka’s family did not hear from him for almost two months after his capture, not knowing whether he was alive or dead.

Israel’s offensive since the war began has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, and sparked a humanitarian crisis and a almost famine.

While it has weakened Hamas’ capabilities, after nearly eight months of war, the militants are regrouping in some of the hardest-hit areas in northern Gaza and resuming rocket attacks on nearby Israeli communities. Israel says its troops are operating in Rafah in the south, central Gaza and Jabaliya in the north.

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Associated Press writers Melanie Lidman in Tel Aviv and John Leicester in Le Pecq, France, contributed