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IDF spokesman update – 05/24, morning

HomeIDF SpokespersonIDF spokesman update – 05/24, morning

Recovery of Hostages’ Bodies

We report that overnight, in a joint operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet, the bodies of the kidnapped individuals—Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum, and Rion Hernandez, may their memory be a blessing—were recovered. This operation took place in the early hours of October 7th. Michel, a resident of Sderot, was en route to fetch his four-year-old granddaughter, who was with her father serving in the Gaza envelope, when he encountered terrorists. Rion, a French-Mexican citizen and partner of Shani Luk, who is remembered with blessing, and Hanan, a father to Emily and Yirin, were at a party when the terrorist attack started and they fled towards a terrorist encounter where they were brutally attacked by Hamas militants and kidnapped to Gaza, where they were murdered that morning.

Intelligence and Operational Success

Over the last week, our forces intensified intelligence efforts in Gaza, which, along with prior information, enabled us to locate and subsequently recover their bodies. The operation was a coordinated effort involving specialized units from both organizations, operating shoulder to shoulder under the guidance of the Intelligence Corps and the Department for Captured and Missing Persons. The professionalism and determination of our forces in a complex combat environment enabled the risky retrieval of the kidnapped for burial in Israel.

Identification and Family Notification

The bodies were transferred for identification, conducted by medical authorities at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Israel Police. Following identification, IDF representatives delivered the news to the families, who are joined by the IDF and Shin Bet in their sorrow during this challenging time.

Investigation Videos and Information Handling

Yesterday, investigation videos of two terrorists involved in the October 7th terror attack were released. During one investigation, the name of the kidnapped 24-year-old Matan Tsengaoker, who was traveling with his partner Ilana, was mentioned. Unfortunately, this information was not initially presented to Matan’s family, a publication error that I personally investigated overnight and this morning. I have spoken with Matan’s eyes, and Yaron, his father, and personally apologized for this mistake. This error occurred innocently as part of the global struggle to prevent the world from forgetting the October 7th disaster. Our duty is to ensure that families are the first to know about any information concerning their relatives, which should be presented to them before being communicated to the media and the public.

Community Impact and Ongoing Investigations

The community of Roz, which suffered a severe disaster, knows the pain of watching these investigations, bringing back the intense grief of October 7th. We share your pain and are committed to thoroughly investigating everything that happened that day, presenting it first to the community and then to the public and the media.

Continued Efforts and Operations

Our mission to bring home all the kidnapped continues intensely across all parts of the Gaza Strip, with the ultimate goal of returning all kidnapped men and women home, a priority for every commander and soldier in the IDF and Shin Bet.

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