May 19, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Recovers Another Hostage’s Body from Gaza

May 19, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Recovers Another Hostage’s Body from Gaza

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on May 18 that they discovered the body of a fourth Israeli hostage held in Hamas captivity during an operation in Gaza two days earlier. IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari confirmed at a briefing that the IDF found the body of 53-year-old Ron Benjamin alongside those of Yitzhak Gelernter, Shani Louk, and Amit Buskila. “Based on verified intelligence in our possession, Ron Benjamin was murdered during the October 7th massacre at the Mefalsim intersection, and his body was abducted to Gaza by Hamas terrorists,” Hagari said.

Expert Analysis

“The war in Gaza will not be over until Israel brings home the hostages. Hamas could have ended this conflict months ago by simply laying down its weapons and returning the captives. And yet, seven months into this war, the terror regime continues to hold 124 Israeli hostages, has repeatedly refused a ceasefire, and continues to attack Israel, while dragging out the misery for Gaza’s civilians.” Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“The recovery of the four hostages’ bodies in Gaza by the IDF helps bring closure to their families after seven months of war. The fact that the Israeli army had to spend seven months searching for bodies that were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and cruelly held in Gaza is another example of why the heinous Iranian-backed terrorist group must be defeated in Gaza. Civilians should never again have to live under the control of Hamas or be threatened by it.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Despite some Israeli setbacks, Hamas is losing the leverage it had over Israel since the beginning of the war. Furthermore, a complete invasion of Rafah would not only result in crippling Hamas’s infrastructure in the city but also potentially lead to the rescue of additional hostages, bringing Israel closer to achieving its goal of rescuing all the captives held in Gaza.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

IDF Continuing Search for Remaining Hostages

The IDF rescue operation was “based on precise Shin Bet intelligence obtained during the interrogations of terrorists who were apprehended in the Gaza Strip, as well as intelligence from IDF Intelligence Directorate,” Hagari said. The IDF posted on X on May 17, “We will continue operating to bring all of our hostages home.” Israel believes that approximately 124 hostages remain in Gaza, but it is unknown how many hostages are still alive.

Israel Recovers Bodies of Three Kidnapped Hostages,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Releases Video of American-Israeli Hostage,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Says It Cannot Locate Hostages,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

Israel Israel at War