Israel-Hamas war: Bodies of three hostages recovered from Gaza strip

IDF recovers bodies of three hostages
Bodies of three hostages recovered. Photo Courtesy: IDF X page

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Friday said the bodies of three hostages have been recovered from the Gaza strip.

The deceased were identified as Shani Louk, Amit Buskila, and Itzhak Gelerenter.

The IDF said they were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas ‘terrorists’ on October 7 from the Nova Music Festival.

“Overnight, our troops recovered their bodies and brought them back home to Israel,” the IDF said in a statement.

“We will continue operating to bring all of our hostages home,” the forces said.

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his grief over the finding of bodies and posted on X: “Heartbroken for the great loss. My wife Sara and I grieve with the families.”

Trucks carrying desperately needed aid into Gaza have started moving ashore on the temporary floating dock built by the United States military, but this is not enough to meet the needs of civilians, UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said on Friday.

OCHA warned that the maritime corridor cannot replace critical land routes, which are the quickest and most effective way of delivering humanitarian aid in the besieged enclave, where more than two million Palestinians desperately need food, shelter and other assistance.

“Any and all aid into Gaza is welcome by any route,” spokesperson Jens Laerke told reporters in Geneva. “But, it is an addition, and it doesn’t take away the fact that land crossings will be more important.”

The US military’s Central Command announced that the trucks began rolling at approximately 9am, local time, on Friday, and that no troops went ashore.

The floating dock was anchored to a beach in Gaza the previous day. With most border crossings to the enclave closed or unsafe, it will provide an additional path for aid delivery to the embattled enclave.

The United Nations welcomes any effort towards ensuring that aid reaches Gaza, said UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, speaking in New York later on Friday.

“As such, we are grateful to the United States, as well as to Cyprus, with the support of other Member States, to sustain the maritime corridor as an additional route for aid to Gaza,” he said.

He explained that “after months of discussions with all relevant authorities, the UN has agreed to support in receiving and arranging for the dispatch of aid into Gaza from the floating dock, as long as it respects the neutrality and independence of humanitarian operations”.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed that the biggest issue now is fuel.

Spokesperson Tarik Jašarević reported that only 13 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza are now partially functioning, emphasising that fuel is required for electricity and to run generators.

He said health partners require between 1.4 million to 1.8 million litres monthly so that hospitals can function, but only 159,000 litres have entered Gaza since the border closure, “and that’s clearly not sufficient”.