IDF Recovers Body of Israeli Hostage Near Gaza’s Shifa Hospital

On Friday, the Israeli military announced the retrieval of Corporal Noa Marciano’s remains from the Gaza Strip. This comes three days after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed her demise at the hands of Hamas while being held captive.

IDF personnel located Marciano’s remains in a structure near Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, subsequently transporting them back to Israel for official identification.

Marciano, who hailed from Modi’in in the heart of Israel, was initially captured by Hamas at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, where she was stationed as a sentry.

Hamas broadcasted a video on Monday night showing Marciano, which the IDF categorized as a form of “psychological warfare.” The footage suggested she perished in an airstrike in Gaza. However, the IDF later clarified on Tuesday morning that Marciano, 19, had passed away during her captivity.

“Upon examination of the video, our specialists deduced that the nature of her injuries was inconsistent with those typically incurred in airstrikes,” the IDF conveyed in a release. “The injuries observed were more in line with gunshot wounds, coupled with signs of potentially having sustained a fall from a significant height.”

The International Red Cross has been denied access by Hamas to the approximately 240 detainees they are believed to be holding in Gaza.

On Thursday evening, the IDF confirmed the discovery and retrieval of 65-year-old Yehudit Weiss’s body from a vicinity close to Shifa Hospital.

Both Marciano and Weiss were victims of abduction by Hamas militants during their onslaught on October 7, which resulted in the loss of 1,200 lives in southwestern Israel.

Israel has recently presented substantial evidence indicating Hamas’s strategy of using civilian structures like hospitals, schools, mosques, and more for their terrorist activities against Israel. This includes a command hub situated within the tunnel network beneath Shifa Hospital.

Dr. Muhammad Abu-Salamiyyah, the head of Shifa Hospital, informed Al Jazeera earlier on Thursday, “IDF forces have been gathering bodies from within the hospital premises.”

When queried about this during a press briefing, IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari elaborated, “Our operations at Shifa Hospital have spanned over 48 hours. This is a complicated and extensive undertaking. During the operation, we uncovered subterranean infrastructure and weaponry, as well as intelligence linked to the hostages. It was near the hospital that we located Yehudit Weiss.”

“We will continue to provide updates as we confirm more successes of the operation and anticipate further breakthroughs,” Hagari added. “Until then, patience is imperative.”