Israel confirms death of 4 more hostages, including 3 older men seen in Hamas video

The Israeli army confirmed the deaths of four more people on Monday. hostages held by Hamas – including three older men seen in a Hamas video begging for their release.

The three men, Amiram Cooper, Yoram Metzger and Haim Peri, were all aged 80 or older. Seemingly weak and distrustful, they appeared in a video released in December by Hamas under the title “Let’s not let us grow old here.”

The fourth hostage was identified as Nadav Popplewell.

Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the four men died together in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis while Israel was operating there. The cause of death was not immediately known.

“We are checking all options,” Hagari said. “There are a lot of questions.”

According to the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, which represents the families of those kidnapped by the Israelis, Cooper was 84 years old, Metzger and Peri 80 years old and Popplewell 51 years old.

Israeli cabinet members disagree over draft ceasefire deal
Families of hostages held in the Gaza Strip demonstrate outside a party meeting at the Israeli parliament, June 3, 2024, in Jerusalem.

Amir Lévy / Getty Images

Confirmation of their deaths came less than two weeks after Hagari posted a statement on social media announcing that the bodies of three hostages killed on October 7 – Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum and Orion Hernandez Radoux – had been found and their families informed. They were reportedly killed on October 7 at the Mefalsim crossroads and their bodies were transported to Gaza.

Israel carried out a major offensive in Khan Younis, a Hamas stronghold, earlier this year.

Hamas claimed in May that Popplewell died after being wounded in an Israeli airstrike, but provided no evidence.

Cooper, Metzger and Peri were featured in a Hamas propaganda video in which Peri, clearly under duress, stated in the video that the three men suffered from chronic illnesses and accused Israel of abandoning them.

The deaths add to the growing list of hostages that Israel says have died in captivity. On October 7, Hamas brought some 250 hostages back to Gaza. About half were released during a brief ceasefire period in November. Of the approximately 130 people remaining in the gang, approximately 85 are believed to be still alive.

The families of Israeli hostages held by Hamas called on all parties this weekend to immediately accept the three-phase deal presented by President Biden Friday to end a nearly eight-month war and bring their loved ones home.

In a statement released Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office called a permanent ceasefire in Gaza a “non-starter” until long-standing conditions for ending the war are met, appearing to undermining the deal that Biden heralded as a deal. Israeli.


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