December 2, 2023

Israel reveals deaths of 6 Hamas hostages in captivity

Israel announced on Friday that six hostages from Hamas had died while in captivity, and among them were a female kindergarten teacher and an elderly grandfather.

Aryeh Zalmanovich, 85, Maya Goren, 56, a kindergarten teacher and mother of four, and Ronen Engel, 54, were all named as residents of Kibbutz Nir Oz in a Facebook post by the community, as the New York Post reported.

The Times of Israel reports that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have confirmed the murders of those individuals as well as of Eliyahu Margalit, whose daughter was recently rescued from the clutches of Hamas.

Ofra Keidar, a 70-year-old woman who took care of her adult crippled daughter, was also one of the captives who did not survive their time in Hamas' captivity. According to the kibbutz, she was kidnapped on Oct. 7 while out on a morning walk.

Friday, Mor Metro-West High School in Ra'anana announced via Facebook that one of its graduates, 26-year-old Guy Iluz, had died. Iluz was abducted by the terrorist organization during the Supernova music festival near Re'im, where it is estimated that over 360 attendees were killed.

Official Statements

Though Israel did not specify a cause of death or a time of death, it did state that the six had died while detained in Gaza.

“This comes after a team of Health Ministry experts, the [Abu Kabir Forensic Institute], the chief rabbi and Religious Affairs Ministry declared their deaths based on findings that were collected and intelligence,” said IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari Hagari.

“Aryeh was a man of the land all his life who was engaged in agriculture and field crops. A man of books and has a wide knowledge of history and knowledge of the country,” the post read.

About the Deceased

The mother of four, Goren, was described in another post as a "diligent and dedicated kindergarten teacher and nanny" who "lovingly cared for the kibbutz children for many years."

The day the conflict broke out, Oct. 7, was also the day her husband, Avner Goren, was killed, according to Kibbutz Nir Oz. Many kibbutzes, including Nir Oz, were stormed and their inhabitants massacred or held hostage during the surprise attack on Israel by the Palestinian terror group.

In his spare time, Engel enjoyed riding motorcycles, taking photographs, and volunteering with Magen David Adom. According to the kibbutz, his wife and two daughters were freed earlier this week.

On Oct. 7, Margalit was abducted in Nir Oz while tending to his horses. Nili Margalit, his 41-year-old daughter, was reportedly freed on Thursday, as reported by the Times of Israel.

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