Israel confirms death of hostage Dror Or in Gaza

An Israeli man held hostage in Gaza since the October 7 Hamas attack has been confirmed dead, the government said early Friday.

Dror Or, 49, was killed and his body was held in Gaza since October 7, said the Be’eri kibbutz where he had lived. It was one of the communities hardest hit in the Hamas attack on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

His wife, Yonat, was killed in the initial assault while two of their three children, Noam and Alma, aged 17 and 13, were abducted and then freed in November as part of a ceasefire and hostages-for- prisoners swap deal between Israel and Hamas.

“We are heartbroken to share that Dror Or who was kidnapped by Hamas on October 7, had been confirmed as murdered and his body is being held in Gaza,” the Israeli government said on X. The two children and their brother Yahli are now orphans, it added.

The government did not say how it learned of the death of Or.

This man’s death was announced as mediators Qatar, the United States and Egypt are waiting for Hamas’ response to a new proposal for a ceasefire and hostage release.

In late November during a week-long ceasefire, 105 hostages were released including 80 Israelis and people from other countries in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians held by Israel.

In Hamas video, US-Israeli hostage says living in Gaza ‘hell’

The war started with Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an Agence France-Presse tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel estimates that 129 captives seized by militants during their attack remain in Gaza.

The military says 35 of them are dead including Or.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 34,596 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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