Israel says hostage killed in failed rescue operation in Gaza Strip

The death of Sahar Baruch, a 25-year-old Israeli soldier who had been kidnapped on October 7 by Hamas militias, was confirmed (Photo: EuropaPress) (ISRAEL ARMED FORCES/)

The Israeli Army reported this Wednesday that one of the hostages held by the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip died in December in a failed operation by Israeli forces trying to rescue him.

Sahar Baruch He died on the night of December 8 during the attempt to rescue him by a special unit of Israeli forces in the Palestinian enclave, they confirmed to the agency. EFE Army sources.

“At this time it is not possible to determine the circumstances of Sahar’s death nor is it known whether he was killed by Hamas or was killed by fire from our forces.”, they specified. “We are working in every way, intelligence and operational, to bring the hostages home,” they added.

The death of this 25-year-old young man was reported on December 9 by the community where he lived in Israel, the Kibbutz Beeriand the Forum of Families of the Disappeared, without specifying when or how he died.

The Hamas militia then said that he died while Israeli forces were trying to rescue him, in an operation in which two soldiers were seriously injured, but until now the Army had not confirmed this.

Sahar Baruch cover
Archive image of Sahar Baruch

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahuassured relatives of the kidnapped people on Tuesday that “contacts” are being maintained to free them, after, as he stated, the Hamas terrorist group has “softened” a “ultimatum” given previously.

Palestinian militias took some 240 hostages to Gaza after the Hamas attack on Israel that left more than 1,200 dead on October 7. Since then, at the end of November there was a week-long truce that allowed the release of 105 hostages in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

In total, 110 captives have been released alive – 86 Israelis and 24 foreigners – while the Israeli Army has recovered the bodies of another eleven. Of those still kidnapped, Israeli authorities estimate that around 22 are dead.

Israeli soldiers take position near the border between Israel and Gaza on January 3, 2024 (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
Israeli soldiers take position near the border between Israel and Gaza on January 3, 2024 (REUTERS/Amir Cohen) (AMIR COHEN/)

On the other hand, Israel warned that The war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip will continue “throughout” 2024. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari announced to troops on Sunday night that some reservists would pause to prepare for “prolonged combat.” He noted that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) “must plan ahead as it will be asked to perform additional tasks and combat throughout this year.”

The Israeli government promised to destroy Hamas after the attack perpetrated on its soil from Gaza by commandos of this organization classified as “terrorist” by the United States and the European Union. The war will still last for “numerous months,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned last week.

(With information from AFP, EFE and Reuters)