Itzhak Gelerenter, Amit Buskila, and Shani Louk. (Courtesy) Itzhak Gelerenter, Amit Buskila, and Shani Louk. (Courtesy)

Shani Louk (22), Amit Buskila (28), and Yitzhak Gelernter (58) were tragically murdered by Hamas while escaping the Nova music festival on Oct. 7.

By Algemeiner

Israeli forces operating in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Thursday night rescued the bodies of three Israeli hostages, chief military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said on Friday.

Hagari identified the three as Shani Louk, 22; Amit Buskila, 28; and Yitzhak Gelernter, 58, saying they “were murdered by Hamas while escaping the Nova music festival on Oct. 7 and their bodies were taken into Gaza.”

The bodies were recovered in an overnight operation carried out by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Shin Bet security agency.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday praised the military operation, conveyed his condolences to the victims’ families, and reiterated his pledge to return all the hostages.

“I commend our brave forces whose determined action has returned the sons and daughters to their own border,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “This terrible loss is heart-breaking. My wife Sara and I grieve with the families; all of our hearts are with them in their hour of heavy sorrow.”

“We will return all of our hostages, the living and the deceased alike,” he added.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists invaded southern Israel on Oct. 7, murdering 1,200 people and kidnapping about 250 others as hostages. Israel responded with an ongoing military operation aimed at freeing the hostages and destroying Hamas, which rules Gaza. Some 130 hostages remain held in Gaza.

The Nova music festival was the site of one of the bloodiest attacks during Hamas’ rampage and included widespread sexual violence against the civilians who were there.

Louk, one of the deceased hostages who was rescued, became an international symbol of Hamas’ brutality after images showed her being paraded around half-naked in the back of a pickup truck during the Oct. 7 onslaught.

Israel has said that Hamas’ last remaining battalions of terrorists are holed up in Rafah, although the Biden administration has been pressuring the Jewish state to refrain from mounting a military offensive in the city, citing humanitarian concerns over the Palestinian civilians there.

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