Israeli Commandos Retrieve Body of Murdered Hostage Elad Katzir in Gaza Raid

Elad Katzir (Courtesy Kibbutz Nir Oz)
Courtesy Kibbutz Nir Oz

Israeli commandos located and retrieved the body of Elad Katzir, 47, a resident of Kibbutz Nir Oz who was murdered in Gaza by his captors from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.


Maya Palty, left, comforts Efrat Machikawa, who both have relatives in Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip since their capture from Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7, as families of hostages call out to their loved ones on loudspeakers in hopes that the hostages will hear, at the Gaza border in Kibbutz Nirim, southern Israel, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. Maya’s relative is Elad Katzir, 47; Efrat’s relative is Gadi Moses, 79. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

In a press statement, Kibbutz Nir Oz said:

With great sorrow, Kibbutz Nir Oz announces the murder of Elad Katzir while being held hostage in Gaza, and after suffering months of torture. According to the information provided by the IDF, Elad was murdered as a hostage in January, and his body was returned to Israel today, during a military operation.

Elad was 47 years old, a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz. His father, Rami Katzir, was murdered during the October 7 massacre and his mother, Hana Katzir, was also abducted to Gaza and later released.

Elad was a man of laughter, hugs and happiness, fields and land. He was especially loved by the Kibbutz’s children, members, and residents.

May his memory be a blessing.

Breitbart News visited the Katzir family’s destroyed home during a visit to Kibbutz Nir Oz in November.

Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News

In a joint statement, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet, or Shabak) said:

The body of the abductee Elad Katzir, who according to intelligence was murdered in captivity by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, was rescued overnight from Khan Yunis and returned to Israeli territory. His body was located based on precise IDF and ISA intelligence, and an accurate identification of IDF ground troops.

Following an identification procedure carried out overnight by medical officials at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, IDF and ISA representatives informed Elad Katzir’s family that his body had been rescued.

The IDF and ISA express their deepest condolences to the family.

During the October 7th massacre, Elad Katzir was abducted by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization from Kibbutz Nir Oz. His mother, Hanna, was also abducted by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization and released on November 24 as part of the agreement for the release of abductees, and his father, Avraham, was murdered in the kibbutz.

Our mission is to locate and return the abductees home. The IDF and the ISA are working in full coordination with the relevant national and security bodies and will continue until the task is complete.

The Times of Israel reported that there had been a firefight near the grave where Katzir’s body had been found, but not at the gravesite itself. It added that Elad Katzir had been forced to appear in two propaganda videos created by Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Katzir was known for his enthusiasm for farming, and frequently worked in the fields near the Gaza border fence.

There are 133 hostages still in Gaza; as many as 100 of them are thought to still be alive.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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