Israeli army says it has recovered the body of hostage Elad Katzir from Gaza in a night raid

The Israeli military has announced that it has recovered the body of a man held hostage in the overnight attack on Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip.

Elad Katzir was taken from Kibbutz Nir Oz during a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7.

His body was brought back to Israel, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israel Security Agency (ISA).

He was identified by medical personnel and his family has been informed.

In a joint statement, the IDF and ISA said: “According to information, the body of abductee Elad Katir, who was killed in captivity by the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, was rescued from Khan Yunis overnight and returned to Israeli territory. ” announced.

They said his body was found using “accurate” information.

Katsir, 47, was abducted from Nir Oz along with his mother Hanna, 77.

She was released along with 104 other hostages during a six-day ceasefire at the end of November.

The Israel Defense Forces and ISA announced that his father, Abraham, was killed on the kibbutz.

In a social media post, Katsir’s sister, Kermit Parti Katsir, blamed Israeli authorities for her brother’s death and said he would have returned alive had a new ceasefire agreement been agreed.

“Our leadership is cowardly and driven by political considerations. That’s why this deal hasn’t happened yet,” he said on Facebook.

“Prime Minister, War Cabinet and Coalition Members, look at yourself in the mirror and tell me if you see any blood on your hands.”

In January, the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad released a video purporting to show Katsir giving a speech while detained in Gaza.

It is not clear whether he was filmed under duress or was able to speak freely.

In the video, Katsir said he had come close to death many times and called on the Israeli government to stop the war and bring him and the other hostages home. He also reiterated that he loves his family and misses them.

Israeli media reported that Katsir was killed by his captors in mid-January, shortly after the video was released, according to IDF estimates.

The Times of Israel reported that he was buried in the Khan Younis refugee camp in an area used by “terrorist agents.”

Information about the grave was obtained about a week ago and confirmed Friday night. His body was exhumed several hours later and returned to Israel, the report added.

“Our mission is to find the abductees and bring them home,” the Israel Defense Forces and ISA said on Saturday.

They said they were “working in full coordination with relevant national and security agencies and will continue until the mission is completed.”

The October 7 Hamas attack killed around 1,200 people, most of them civilians.

Some 33,137 people have been killed in Gaza since then, according to the Hamas-led Health Ministry. This includes at least 46 deaths in the past 24 hours, the ministry said in a statement.

According to Israel, 253 Israelis and foreigners were detained in the attack.

Approximately 129 hostages remain missing after being kidnapped, at least 34 of whom are presumed dead.

Israel keeps the official figure slightly higher because it includes four hostages taken in 2014 and 2015, two of whom are believed to have died.

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