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Bodies of three more Israeli hostages recovered from Gaza, army say

The bodies of three more hostages killed in the 7 October Hamas attack inside Israel have been recovered from Gaza, Israel’s army has said.

It said the bodies of Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum and Orion Hernandez Radoux were recovered overnight in a joint operation by the army and the intelligence services in Jabalia, in northern Gaza where there has been intense fighting in recent days.

Military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Israel was determined to bring back the remaining hostages still held in Gaza.

“We will not stop fighting for their freedom,” he said in televised statement, announcing the recovery of the three bodies. “Every decent country would do the same.”

Mr Yablonka, 42 and Mr Hernandez Radoux, 30, were both killed at the Nova music festival, an outdoor party near Gaza where Mr Hernandez Radoux’s girlfriend, Shani Louk was also killed, the military said. Her body was recovered with two others last week. Nisenbaum, 65, was killed while going to take care of his granddaughter.

Hamas abducted around 250 Israeli and foreign hostages and killed around 1,200 people during the brutal attack on communities around the Gaza Strip on 7 October. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared securing their return as one of Israel’s main war aims.

Orión Hernández Radoux
Orión Hernández Radoux (Hostages Families Forum Headquarters via AP)

Around 130 hostages remain after a deal that secured the release of around half of them in November. A significant number still in Gaza are believed to be dead.

The Families Forum, a group that represents families of the hostages, called on the government to increase efforts for an agreement to get back the remaining hostages still held in Gaza.

“The recovery of their bodies is a silent but resolute reminder that the State of Israel is obligated to immediately dispatch negotiation teams with a clear demand to bring about a deal that will swiftly return all the hostages home: the living for rehabilitation and the murdered for burial,” it said in a statement.

The bodies were identified by medical officials at the Israeli National Forensic Institute and the Israeli police, the military said.Mr Hernandez Radoux held French nationality. President Emmanuel Macron said on X he had learned of the death with sadness.

Relatives and supporters hold pictures of hostages kidnapped into Gaza during a Tel Aviv protest calling for their return
Relatives and supporters hold pictures of hostages kidnapped into Gaza during a Tel Aviv protest calling for their return (REUTERS)

“I think of his family and those close to him. We are at their side. France remains more than ever committed to the release of all the hostages.”

Talks brokered by Qatar and Egypt to secure a ceasefire and hostage deal have stalled. Israel says it is willing to negotiate only a temporary pause to the fighting, while Hamas says it will release hostages only as part of a deal that would end the war with Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

In response to the 7 October attack, Israel has launched a relentless campaign in Gaza that has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian health authorities, and destroyed much of the densely built up enclave.


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