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3 Recovered Hostages Laid to Rest in Israel, 7 Months After They Were Slain by Hamas

Funerals were held on Sunday, May 19, for three of the four hostages whose bodies were recovered by IDF troops this weekend from the Gaza Strip, more than seven months after they were killed. Shani Louk was laid to rest in Srigim, Amit Buskila was buried in Kiryat Gat and Itzhak Gelerenter’s funeral was held in Kibbutz Palmahim. The funeral for Ron Benjamin is slated for Monday in Kibbutz Palmahim.

All four of the hostages were murdered on October 7 and their bodies kidnapped to Gaza by Hamas terrorists, according to the IDF. The death of Louk had been confirmed by the military back in October, but the fate of the other three hostages was unknown until this weekend.

Louk, Buskila and Gelerenter had all been at the Supernova music festival that day, while Benjamin was out on an early morning bike ride.

In the small town of Srigim, south of Beit Shemesh, loved ones paid their respects to Louk, 22, a German-Israeli dual national who became an icon of the Hamas massacre after a video, broadcast on October 7 and attributed to the terror group, showed her body on the back of a white pickup truck, her hair matted with blood. She was surrounded by gunmen and paraded through Gaza.

At the funeral, her mother, Ricarda, said “I didn’t believe they’d be able to bring her body back, and it was a relief when the army informed us that they’d found her body and that it was complete.”

The bodies of the hostages were rescued during a joint IDF and ISA operation, based on precise ISA intelligence obtained during the interrogations of terrorists who were apprehended in the Gaza Strip, as well as intelligence from IDF Intelligence Directorate's Headquarters for the Hostages and Missing Persons. (TOI / VFI News)

“Lord, we pray for the families that lost their loved ones during the October 7 massacre and have been suffering ever since. We send our heartfelt condolences to them and we hope that they can now pay respect to their dead. We pray that they have found relief in their loved ones' bodies' recovery and that You will comfort them, console them and engulf them into Your Fatherly embrace for the days to come. May their sorrow and emotional wounds heal overtime. We also pray for the release of the remaining hostages with no further delay in Yeshua’s name.”