Photo Credit: IDF
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi with reservists, May 22, 2024.

The IDF and the Shin Bet overnight Friday recovered the bodies of the hostages Hanan Yavlonka, Michel Nissenbaum, and Orion Hernandez, the IDF spokesperson reported.

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said on Tuesday in Gaza, “We want to bring the hostages home alive, and those who unfortunately are not alive we want to bury in a Jewish grave.”


This was the announcement:

According to reliable intelligence information in our possession, it appears that the hostages were murdered during the brutal terrorist attack on October 7 and were abducted by Hamas terrorists from the level crossing to Gaza.
The bodies of the hostages were recovered during a nighttime operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet with cooperation between the 98th Division and the Yalom unit, Unit 504, and fighters of a special unit of Military Intelligence and the Shin Bet in the Jabaliya neighborhood, relying on accurate intelligence information received and analyzed.
The information was acquired by the Command of Prisoners and Missing Persons in the Intelligence Division of the Southern Command in cooperation with the Shin Bet. At the beginning of the operation, there was intense fighting in the area.
After an identification procedure carried out by medical officials at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Israel Police, IDF representatives notified the families. The IDF and Shin Bet share in the grief of the families at this difficult time.
The IDF spokesman calls on the public to refrain from spreading unfounded rumors and information and to listen to the official announcements.
The IDF and the Shin Bet continue, even at this time, with the activation of all operational and intelligence efforts, to fulfill the supreme national mission of returning all the hostages.

As of May 8, Israel has verified the death of 38 hostages who had been abducted by Hamas and taken to Gaza on October 7, 2023 (Israel Verifies Death of 38 Hostages Who Were Believed to Be Alive).

Speaking to commanders and soldiers in Jabaliya, Brig. Gen. Halevi said, “We are in a war that we said at the beginning would be protracted. We are dug in for years for defensive purposes, and we won’t dismantle in a week or a month. The mission, as the local commander said, is to kill as many terrorists as possible, and destroy their infrastructure. This pressure, we hope, will also help us apply pressure to bring the hostages home alive, and we are ready to launch dangerous and complicated operations to bring the bodies of our abductees back to a Jewish grave.”

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