Remains of hostage Elad Katzir recovered and returned to Israel

Israeli media reports that he had been murdered not long after appearing in an Islamic Jihad video pleading for Israel to stop the war


A man sits in a cage with portraits of 47-year-old Israeli hostage Elad Katzir, Tel Aviv, March 26, 2024 (Credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

The body of Elad Katzir has been recovered during an overnight operation in Khan Younis and taken back to Israel, the IDF says.

His remains, now identified by medical officials at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, were buried in Khan Younis refugee camp, a site used by “terror operatives”, according to the Times of Israel.

The IDF and Israeli Security Agency (ISA) said in a joint statement: “The body of abductee Elad Katzir, who according to intelligence was murdered in captivity by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organisation, was rescued overnight from Khan Younis and returned to Israeli territory.”

Information about the location of his remains was gained about a week ago and confirmed on Friday evening, hours after which his body was exhumed.

Katzir, 47, had been abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7. His mother, Hana Katzir, 77, also taken hostage by Hamas, was released in November, while his father Avraham-Rami was murdered in his home on October 7.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group published a video of Katzir in January speaking from captivity and pleading for the Israeli government to stop the war and to bring all the hostages home.

Israeli media and the IDF estimate that he was murdered by his captors the same month the video was published, in January.

Katzir’s sister, Carmit Palty Katzir, blamed Israeli authorities for her brother’s death in a Facebook post. She accused Israel’s leadership of being “cowardly and driven by political consideration,” arguing that had a truce deal been reached her brother would have returned alive.

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