Israeli hostages Yossi Sharabi and Itai Svirsky have died in Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip, Kibbutz Be’eri announced on Tuesday night in Israel.
Sharabi, 53, and Svirsky, 38, were both featured earlier this week in a video released by the terror group. The clip concluded with what appeared to be two bodies Hamas claimed belonged to the hostages.
In the footage, fellow hostage Noa Argamani, 26, also appears on camera. “I was located in a building. It was bombed by an IDF airstrike, an F-16 fighter jet,” she appears to say in the recording. “Three rockets were fired. Two of the rockets exploded, and the other didn’t.”
“I was injured in my head. My head is full of shrapnel, and I have injuries to my body. Itai Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi died because of our own IDF airstrikes,” Argamani seems to add.
While Israeli officials denounced the propaganda video as psychological terror, the Israel Defense Forces contacted the families of the hostages and expressed concerns about their safety in Hamas captivity.
Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the IDF spokesman, said during a press conference on Monday that Israel had neither targeted nor attacked the building in which Sharabi and Svirsky were being held.
“This is a lie of Hamas,” Hagari insisted. “We do not attack a place where we know there may be hostages.”
Svirsky, a Tel Aviv resident with dual German-Israeli citizenship, was visiting his elderly parents at Kibbutz Be’eri for Shabbat and the Simchat Torah holiday on Oct. 7 when Hamas terrorists launched the cross-border raid. Both of his parents were murdered by Hamas.
Yossi Sharabi, a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri, was last seen being taken to Gaza by Hamas terrorists on a pickup truck, along with his brother, 51-year-old Eli Sharabi. The younger Sharabi is still being held hostage in the coastal enclave.
Hamas kidnapped some 240 people during its invasion of the northwestern Negev, in which terrorists murdered around 1,200 civilians and soldiers. According to official figures, around 136 hostages remain in Gaza, although dozens are believed or confirmed to be dead.
An estimated 10% of the 1,100 residents who lived in Kibbutz Be’eri were killed in the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks with an equal number of its residents kidnapped during the murder spree and infiltration of Israel’s southern border.