Festival Attendee Abducted and Paraded by Hamas Is Dead, Israel Says

todayOctober 30, 2023 4

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A young German-Israeli woman seen apparently unconscious in the back of a pickup truck after being abducted from a music festival by Hamas gunmen is dead, Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Monday.

The family of Shani Louk had made public statements earlier in the day saying they had been informed of her killing. They had held out hope that she may be still alive despite disturbing video footage showing her in the captivity of armed militants in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre at the festival in southern Israel.

“We are devastated to share that the death of 23 year old German-Israeli Shani Luk was confirmed,” the Israel Foreign Ministry said in a statement on X. “Shani who was kidnapped from a music festival and tortured and paraded around Gaza by Hamas terrorists, experienced unfathomable horrors,” it added. “Our hearts are broken. May her memory be a blessing.”

Ricarda Louk, Shani’s mother, separately told German broadcaster RTL/ntv that: “Unfortunately, we received the news yesterday that my daughter is no longer alive.” Shani’s sister, Adi, separately shared the news “with great sadness” on her Instagram account on Monday.

It wasn’t immediately clear from the videos of Louk—which showed the tattoo artist stripped half-naked with one of her legs bent at an unnatural angle—if she was still alive. Her family had previously said they’d received information that she’d been seriously injured but was nevertheless alive and receiving treatment in a hospital. Israeli officials have not disclosed where Louk’s body was found or how she was identified.

Three days after Israeli ground forces moved into Gaza, witnesses said Monday that tanks and infantry advanced into the outskirts of Gaza City. The forces reportedly blocked a main road linking the north of the besieged enclave to the south, where residents have been ordered to travel for their own safety (despite repeated strikes in the south even after evacuation guidance).

A video circulating online appears to show an Israeli tank and bulldozer obstructing the Salah al-Din Road—which locals had been told to use to avoid the invading forces. The footage shows a white car approaching the blockade. The vehicle then stops and turns around and starts heading back in the direction it came. The tank then opens fire on the car, seemingly destroying the vehicle.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said three people were killed in the vehicle. A witness cited by the Wall Street Journal claimed the vehicle was a taxi with a white flag on its hood. Maj. Nir Dinar, an Israeli military spokesperson, told the Journal that troops have no means of distinguishing civilians from militants, and that they all use the same vehicles. “The IDF was not shown any proof that this is a civilian car and there’s no information on who is inside,” Dinar was quoted as saying. “Terrorists use civilian infrastructure like cars. They don’t have tanks or military jeeps.”

The head of the Hamas government in office later said there’s “absolutely no ground advance inside the residential neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip,” saying Monday’s incursion amounted to a “few occupation army tanks and a bulldozer.”

“These vehicles targeted two civilian cars on Salah al-Din Street and bulldozed the street before the resistance forced them to retreat,” Salama Maarouf said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera. “There is currently no presence of occupation army vehicles on Salah al-Din Road, and citizen movement has returned to normal on the road.”

According to Gaza’s health ministry, over 8,000 people—most of whom are minors and women—have been killed since Israel dramatically increased its strikes on the enclave in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks, an unprecedented death toll in the decades of bloodshed between Israelis and Palestinians. The figure of 1,400 Israelis killed by Hamas’ attacks is also without equal.

On Monday morning, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear. Adm. Daniel Hagari said ground activities in Gaza had “expanded” over the last 24 hours, and said that the families of 239 people have been notified that one of their relatives is being held hostage. “Returning the hostages is a supreme national mission,” Hagari said. “Our ground activity in the Gaza Strip serves, among other things, this purpose.”

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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