The IDF spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, confirmed the deaths of several hostages held by the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip, as reported by The Times of Israel on Saturday. He went on to say, “We are continuing to invest in many intelligence and operational efforts to bring information on the conditions of the hostages.”
According to the Times of Israel, Hagari informed the families of Eliyahu Margalit, Mia Goren, Ronen Engel, and Aryeh Zalmanovich, “in the last few days, the IDF and police notified the families of Eliyahu Margalit, Mia Goren, Ronen Engel, and Aryeh Zalmanovich of their deaths.”
“This comes after a team of Health Ministry experts, the [Abu Kabir Forensic Institute], the chief rabbi, and the Religious Affairs Ministry declared their deaths based on findings that were collected and intelligence,” Hagari said. He added that the four deaths were declared “based on findings that were collected and intelligence.” The announcement about hostage deaths comes as the IDF resumes its offensive in Gaza following the breakdown of a week-long truce.
During the truce, 105 civilians, including 81 Israelis, 23 Thai nationals, and 1 Filipino, were released from Hamas detention in Gaza in exchange for 210 Palestinian prisoners, all of whom were women or minors. According to The Times of Israel, Israel also allowed humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
Still held hostage by Gaza terror groups when the truce collapsed were 136 people—114 men, 20 women, and two children—government spokesperson Eylon Levy said. Ten of the hostages are 75 and older. The vast majority of the hostages, 125, are Israeli. Eleven are foreign nationals, including eight from Thailand.
Israel launched an offensive against Hamas in Gaza after the October 7 assault on southern Israel, in which some 1,200 people were killed, most of them civilians, and some 240 were taken hostage.