Israel Mourns Death of Arab Bedouin IDF Tracker, Killed October 7

Mhamad El-Atrash (IDF)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Monday that Mhamad el-Atrash, a Bedouin Arab who worked as a tracker for the military, had been killed on October 7 in battle against Hamas, which  is holding his body in Gaza.

El-Atrash had been presumed to be among the Israeli hostages. It is not known how the IDF confirmed his death.

The Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) reported:

Atrash, 39, a resident of the Bedouin village of Sawa in the northern Negev, served as a tracker in the Northern Brigade of the Gaza Division, though the IDF did not disclose his army service until Monday evening.

According to Israel’s Channel 12 News, he is survived by 13 children. Atrash’s fate remained unclear in the first months after the Oct. 7 attacks, and his family was reportedly only informed in early December that he had been taken hostage to Gaza.

Atrash’s body was taken from the border area after a battle with terrorists, the IDF said on Monday, adding that his death was determined after “examining all the findings and based on reliable information.”

Israeli government spokesman David Mencer mourned El-Atrash’s death in a press briefing Monday with journalists.

Arabs form 20% of Israel’s population and most are Muslim, though a minority are Christian. Though most Israeli Arabs are not conscripted into the IDF, many Bedouin Arabs volunteer, often as trackers, using their expertise and experience in the desert. Many Druze Arabs are also conscripted into the Israeli military. Hamas murdered dozens of Israeli Arabs on October 7, often with particular cruelty, and abducted several Arabs among its Israeli hostages.

There are thought to be roughly 115 Israeli hostages still in Gaza, with between 50 and 70 thought to be still 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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