Israel announces four more hostage deaths, including 3 older men seen in Hamas video

Israeli civilians gathered in solidarity for the missing and kidnapped Israeli people^ and demanding to bring the hostages home now from Gaza war. Tel Aviv^ Israel - November^ 2023

The Israel Defense Forces announced that four Hamas hostages being held in Gaza “are no longer alive,” after being taken on Oct 7, 2023.  Three of the men, identified as Amiram Cooper, Yoram Metzger and Haim Peri, were 80 years old, or older, and appeared in a December video released by Hamas under the title, “Don’t let us grow old here,” according to satellite television channel Al Mayadeen.  Peri said in the video that all three men had chronic illnesses and accused Israel of abandoning them. The fourth hostage was identified as Nadav Popplewell.

The IDF said it had told the families of the victims that they are no longer alive and that their bodies are held by the Hamas terrorist organization, based on intelligence and was confirmed by a Ministry of Health expert committee, in coordination with the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief Rabbi of Israel. The circumstances of their deaths in Hamas captivity are still under examination, according to the IDF, which says it uses a “a wide variety of methods to gather information about the hostages who remain in the Gaza Strip.”

Chief spokesperson for the IDF, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said “Their loved ones were killed a few months ago during Hamas captivity in Gaza and their bodies are still being held by Hamas. We assess that the four of them were killed while together in the area of Khan Younis during an operation there against Hamas.”

More than 250 people were taken hostage and moved to Gaza during Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel but more than 100 were released during a temporary truce last year. The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office believes there are still 124 hostages, living and dead, in Gaza; of the remaining 120 who were taken on October 7, Israel now believes 41 are dead.

Last week, President Joe Biden detailed a three-phase deal proposed by Israel to Hamas militants that he says would lead to the release of remaining hostages in Gaza. The three-phase proposal would secure the release of hostages paired with a ceasefire. Following news of the four deaths, the Hostage and Missing Families Forum in Israel reiterated its demand to the Israeli government to immediately approve the proposal. The group said in a statement Monday: “The Israeli government must send out a negotiating delegation this evening and return all 124 hostages, both living and murdered, to their homes. Chaim, Yoram, Amiram, and Nadav were kidnapped alive, some of them were with other hostages who returned in the previous deal – and they should have returned alive to their country and their families.” 

Editorial credit: Omri Eliyahu /

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