Israel confirms body of hostage Ron Benjamin has been recovered from Gaza

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Israel confirms body of hostage Ron Benjamin has been recovered from Gaza

The remains of three Nova festival victims – Itzhak Gelerenter, Amit Buskila and Shani Louk – were also discovered in an operation carried out by the military and Shin Bet

Ron Benjamin
Ron Benjamin

Israel has confirmed that the body of a hostage who was captured by Hamas terrorists while on a cycling trip has been recovered from Gaza.

In an announcement on Saturday evening, an IDF spokesperson said Ron Benjamin’s body was brought back by its forces operating in Gaza.

Chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Benjamin, 53, was “brutally murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Mefalsim Intersection, and his body was kidnapped to Gaza”.

Hagari said the father of two was found along with three other murdered hostages whose repatriation was announced on Friday. On Friday afternoon Hagari announced that the remains of Itzhak Gelerenter, Amit Buskila and Shani Louk were discovered in an overnight operation carried out by the military and Shin Bet.

All three attended the Supernova music festival near Re’im where they were murdered by Hamas terrorists and their bodies taken to Gaza.

Itzhak Gelerenter, Amit Buskila and Shani Louk

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum said Benjamin was riding his bicycle near Kibbutz Be’eri when he was taken hostage during the 7 October attack.

The group said he was a “family man who loved cycling” and that he “used to go out for a ride every Saturday, just as he did on that fateful Saturday when he was taken hostage”.

On Friday 6 October, Ron was with his wife in Jaffa. The next day, as he did every Saturday, he went for a cross-country bike ride with friends.

His abandoned car with gunshot marks was found near Kibbutz Mefalsim.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry had confirmed Louk’s death in late October. She was among the hundreds of mostly young adult Israelis killed at the music festival, which has become a symbol of the day’s horrors. Louk, 22, also became a symbol of the festival’s victims. A video of her dancing shortly before the raid went viral, and a photo of Hamas terrorists parading her body in a pickup truck spread widely.

Shani with her brother Amit

Shani Louk’s father Nissim told Channel 12 that today’s announcement  was painful but expected. “My wife Sara and I grieve with the families,” he said in a statement. “We will return all of our hostages — living and deceased alike. I congratulate our brave forces who, with determined action, returned our sons and daughters home.”

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