Heartbreak after Hamas claims British-Israeli hostage is dead

Nadav Popplewell, 51, was taken hostage with his mother, Channah Peri, 79, from Kibbutz Nirim


Hostage Nadav Popplewell

The Foreign Office is investigating a claim by the terror group Hamas that a British-Israeli hostage has died in Gaza.

Hamas claims Nadav Popplewell died of wounds sustained in an Israeli airstrike more than a month ago, a report that has prompted heartbreak in his UK and Israeli communities.

The terror group released footage of Popplewell, 51, on Saturday .

Popplewell was taken hostage with his mother, Channah Peri, 79, from their home in Kibbutz Nirim during the Hamas onslaught on October 7.

His brother, Roi Popplewell, 54, was killed by terrorists near his home in the kibbutz.

In the 10-second video, Popplewell appears to be suffering from an eye injury. It is unclear when the footage was filmed.

Barrister Adam Wagner said in a post on LinkedIn: “We are devastated to hear the news (not yet confirmed by the British government) that Nadav Popplewell, a British hostage of Hamas whose family we have been acting for, has died.

“We have been acting for British linked families of hostages since October. Some have been released, two have now died.

"We have become close to their families as they have experienced the extreme trauma of the uncertainty around the hostage situation, the cruelty of Hamas (eg in this case, as with Yossi Sharabi before, they revealed Nadav’s death through a series of ‘tease’ videos like a reality TV series).

"One thing that people don’t necessarily realise that many of the hostage families have also had family members murdered. They are experiencing double or triple traumas.
“Personally, after 7 months, though I have never met Nadav, or Oded, or Eli, or Emily, I feel like a know them to an extent. I spoke about Oded to my synagogue just yesterday as it was his 84th birthday. And now we have lost another.
“Our hearts go out to them.”

This was the third such video Hamas has aired in recent weeks, following clips of hostages Hersh Goldberg-Polin, Keith Siegel and Omri Miran that were released in late April.

While the edited, three-minute-long video of Siegel and Miran was undated, Miran said in it that he had been held captive for 202 days and Siegel mentions the Passover holiday, indicating that the video was filmed recently.

The two men identify themselves, speak directly to their families and express their hopes for a deal to release the rest of the hostages.

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum responded by urging the government to urgently work toward securing the release of all hostages held by Hamas.

Some 132 Israelis remain captive in Gaza, having been held by Hamas for over seven months.

Lior Rudaeff was declared dead on Tuesday night, exactly seven months after he was presumed to have been abducted by Hamas on October 7.

Rudaeff, an ambulance driver and volunteer medic, fought alongside the kibbutz’s security team during the Hamas invasion.

Two more Israeli victims of Hamas’s October 7 massacre were declared dead earlier this month: Elyakim Libman, 23, a security guard at the Nova music festival presumed to have been taken hostage but whose body was found in Israeli territory; and Dror Or, 49, who was kidnapped to Gaza from Kibbutz Be’eri.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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