newsOctober 7

Hamas hostage Lior Rudaeff was declared dead based on new video

The determination was made by a special medical committee set up a week after Oct. 7 to evaluate the hostages' condition based on available eyewitness and video evidence.

Lior Rudaeff and his son, Nadav. | Photo: Curtesy
Lior Rudaeff and his son, Nadav. | Photo: Curtesy

According to the director of Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Tuesday’s confirmation that one of the hostages captured by Hamas on Oct. 7 had been killed was based on new video evidence received over the weekend.

Israeli-Argentinian Lior Rudaeff, of Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, was previously thought to be among the 132 captives being held by Hamas in Gaza.

Professor Ofer Merin, a member of a medical committee tasked with evaluating the hostages’ conditions based on available evidence, told Kan Radio, “We received quite a few recorded materials” in the aftermath of the Hamas assault on southern Israel.

“Hamas members were very involved in documentation—they were filmed with GoPro cameras, among others. There are [also] security cameras inside Gaza, and the Israel Defense Forces obtained the recorded materials,” he explained.

“The committee was established about a week after the war began, with the understanding that we were not receiving any information from Hamas about who was kidnapped or what their condition was,” he said. In lieu of such information, “We received reports from [witnesses] and viewed footage from security cameras in the communities” targeted during the massacre.

“The committee, unfortunately, has determined the deaths of more than 30 people…thanks in part to visual materials,” he said, adding that new evidence was coming in constantly.

“This is a video that wasn’t available before,” he said of the Rudaeff footage.

“We are committed on an ethical and psychological level to share with the families any information we have, and when the committee convenes, it takes us hours to go over the footage. We sit and analyze and go over it again and again. We convey our findings and try to be definitive because the committee’s goal is to resolve any doubts. Whenever we can reach clear conclusions, we communicate them,” he said.

‘None of those who returned had seen him’

Rudaeff, a local ambulance driver, was well known in Nir Yitzhak. He was always the first to volunteer and assist anyone in need. His main hobby was motorcycle riding, and he was a fan of the Israeli singer Shlomo Artzi.

On Oct. 7, he heard gunshots outside the house and went out to help.

“We know that Dad was injured because he managed to report it to the people in the kibbutz,” his daughter Noam Katz said on the 100th day after the massacre. “Contact with him was lost at 8:45 a.m., and since then, we have no information about him.”

None of the freed or rescued hostages remembered seeing him, she added.

“I never imagined it would take so long. On Saturday night, we discovered Dad was missing. I remember my husband told me, ‘This is going to take a lot of time,’ and I said, ‘Of course.’ “I thought it would take two to three weeks. I never imagined we would reach this number of 100 days without a sign of life.”

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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