As Israel’s raids into Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital continue, the defence forces on Friday claimed they had found the body of a hostage, who was kidnapped by Hamas operatives during their October 7 attack, near the hospital.
The hostage, identified as 65-year-old Yehudit Weiss, “was extracted by Israeli Defence Force troops from a structure adjacent to Shifa hospital”, an army statement said. “Yehudit was murdered by the terrorists in the Gaza Strip and we didn’t manage to reach her in time,” IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said.
In a post on X, IDF said Weiss was a mother to five children and worked at a kindergarten. On October 7, she was kidnapped from her home in South Israel’s Kibbutz Be’eri while her husband was killed by Hamas, they said.
“On October 7, Yehudit was abducted by Hamas from her home in Kibbutz Be’eri. Her husband, Shmulik Weiss, was murdered in their home. Yehudit and Shmulik were parents to 5 children. IDF soldiers recovered her body from a building adjacent to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza earlier today,” the post read.
The Israeli army also claimed to have found assault rifles including AK-47s, RPGs, and other military equipment near Weiss’ body.
Weiss was one of the 240 hostages taken by Hamas during its initial attack last month, Israeli officials have claimed. On the other hand, Hamas has accused Israel of killing its own hostages during its relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers along with bulldozers lay siege to Al-Shifa hospital on Thursday claiming they had found footage related to the hostages on the facility’s computers. Israeli forces have, for long, claimed Hamas has established a base and secret tunnel underneath the hospital, using it to store its ammunitions.
During its operation inside the hospital, the forces claimed to have discovered “intelligence materials including equipment belonging to Hamas” at the Al-Shifa.
At least 2,300 patients, staff, and civilians are inside the hospital, including 36 newborns, UN said. The hospital, which ran out of fuel, said water, electricity, and oxygen was cut off as the Israeli soldiers broke into the premises. In the last week, three premature babies along with several ICU patients have died due to fuel shortage.