Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90
Israelis rioting for the release of the hostages from the Gaza, 38 of whom were verified dead, May 7, 2024.

Prof. Ofer Merin, director of Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem and member of the committee to examine the state of the hostages, told Reshet Bet Radio on Wednesday morning that Tuesday’s announcement of the murder of the Israeli hostage Lior Rudaeff followed a new video that arrived last weekend.

“We are talking about completely new materials,” Dr. Merin said. “Quite a few photographed materials arrived this week, including a video that was not available before. Those Hamas people were very busy with the documentation — they took pictures with GoPro cameras and other cameras,” Marin revealed.


“There are security cameras inside Gaza, and as the IDF progressed and obtained materials from places or people, videoed materials arrived. The committee unfortunately determined the death of more than 30 people, all of whom, among other things, thanks to visual materials. We get new materials all the time,” he added.

Prof. Ofer Merin, director of Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem and member of the committee to examine the state of the hostages. / Courtesy of Shaare Zedek Hospital

Members of Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak were informed Tuesday evening of the murder of 61-year-old hostage Lior Rudaeff, a member of their kibbutz, who served as an ambulance driver. His traces disappeared on October 7 and since then he has been considered “probably abducted.” His body is being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, to be exchanged in a future deal with living terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands.

Out of the 132 Israeli hostages in Hamas’s captivity, 38 have been verified dead.

Lior’s wife, Yaffe Rudaeff, wrote on social media hours before she was informed of his death: “I want Lior at home! It’s been a complicated month. Your father will soon celebrate his 89th birthday, Dagan will soon celebrate his 5th birthday, and Shay is already two months old! We miss your energies, we miss the family gatherings because nothing is the same without you.”

Last Friday, the family of Eliakim Liebman, who was also considered abducted, received notification that he was murdered on October 7 and that his remains were found in the grave of another murdered woman. Eliakim worked at the Nova party as a security guard and rescued many from the party when the massacre began. Although he had already left the area, he returned to the scene to retrieve the body of one of the partygoers, and since then his traces have disappeared. In the last six months, Eliakim was considered a living hostage, and his family participated in the demonstrations that often turned into riots, demanding the government get out of Gaza for the sake of returning the hostages.

Last Thursday, Kibbutz Be’eri announced that 49-year-old Dror Or, who was kidnapped to the Gaza Strip, had already been murdered on October 7 and his body is being held by Hamas. His wife, Yonat Or, was also murdered in an attack on the kibbutz and their children Noam, 17, and his 13-year-old daughter, were kidnapped and released in the November deal.

The committee “was established about a week after the start of the war with the understanding that we were not receiving any information from Hamas about who was kidnapped and in what condition,” Prof. Merin explained. “We received reports from people and saw images on security cameras in localities where some of the kidnapped were dragged as bodies, which became clear at an early stage. It took the state time to understand that out of the 240 hostages, some were kidnapped as bodies and are no longer among the living.”

“We have a moral and emotional obligation to share with the families any available information, and when the committee sits, it meets for hours on the materials. We sit and analyze and go over again and again, we convey the findings and try to be sharp because the goal of the committee is to remove doubts. As soon as we reach sharp conclusions, we pass them along,” he said.

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