One day after Israeli hostage Cpl. Noa Marciano appeared in a Hamas video, the Israel Defense Forces allowed the publication on Tuesday morning that the 19 year-old had already died in captivity.
Marciano, a resident of Modi’in in central Israel, was abducted from Kibbutz Nahal Oz, where she served as a lookout.
On Monday night, Hamas released a video of Marciano which the Israel Defense Forces described as “psychological terror.” The video claimed that Marciano was killed in an airstrike on Hamas positions.
“However, after analyzing the footage, experts suggest that her injuries do not align with those typically sustained in airstrikes. The observed wounds appear more consistent with bullet injuries, and there is also an indication that she may have suffered from injuries related to a fall from a height,” the IDF said in a statement.
Hamas has denied the International Red Cross any access to the captives.
Also on Tuesday, Israel cleared for publication that officials believe that a pregnant hostage likely gave birth in captivity.
Meanwhile, Iraqi television aired a video on Monday showing Elizabeth Tsurkov, a kidnapped Israeli-Russian academic. Tsurkov was abducted in Baghdad by Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Iraqi militia.
Speaking in Hebrew and appearing to read dictated lines, Tsurkov referred to the war in Gaza and Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israeli communities, and said she had worked in Syria and Iraq for Israeli and US intelligence. It wasn’t clear when the video was filmed or if Tsurkov’s comments were coerced.
A doctoral student at Princeton University researching radical Islamic groups, the 38 year-old Tsurkov apparently entered Iraq on her Russian passport.
Hostage Deal in the Works?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told NBC News‘ “Meet the Press” on Sunday that there could be a hostage deal with Hamas, but declined to elaborate.
“I think the less I say about it, the more I’ll increase the chances that it materializes,” the prime minister said.
So far the IDF has succeeded in freeing one hostage, Pvt. Ori Megidish, 19, on Oct. 30, three weeks after Hamas kidnapped her from the army’s Nahal Oz Base.
Hamas released a mother and daughter with dual Israel and American citizenship on Oct. 20 and two elderly women on Oct. 23.
Asked if he knew where the hostages were being held, Netanyahu said: “We know a great deal, but I won’t go beyond that.”
Officials said the woman had already been in her ninth month of pregnancy when she was abducted by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7. The officials stressed that their belief is not based on any specific intelligence, but merely on the amount of time that has passed since the abduction.
Around 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage during Hamas’s attacks on communities near the Gaza border.