May 24, 2024 - World

Israeli forces recover bodies of three more hostages held by Hamas in Gaza

A poster with a photo of Hanan Yablonka at the 'Nova Festival' site.

A memorial site for Hanan Yablonka at the Nova Festival site is seen on May 24, 2024 in Re'eim, Israel. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

The Israeli Defense Forces have recovered the bodies of three more hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Friday.

The big picture: With the latest recovery, the number of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza now sits at 125 ā€” among them several Americans.

  • Indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas over a possible hostage deal that could lead to a temporary ceasefire in Gaza hit a deadlock two weeks ago after several days of talks in Cairo and Doha.

Driving the news: Hagari said the IDF operation to recover the bodies took place on Thursday, with Israeli special forces retrieving the bodies of Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum, an Israeli-Brazilian national, and Orion Hernandez, a Mexican-French national.

  • Hagari said all three hostages were killed by Hamas militants during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel and that their bodies were taken to Gaza.

Behind the scenes: Hagari said the operation was conducted "based on precise intelligence."

  • A senior IDF official said in a briefing with reporters that the bodies were found in a Hamas tunnel in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza strip.
  • Last week, the IDF announced it had recovered the bodies of four other hostages in the area.

What to watch: CIA director Bill Burns arrived in Paris on Friday for a meeting with the head of Israel's Mossad and the prime minister of Qatar in an effort to revive talks to release the remaining hostages in Gaza and establish a ceasefire in the enclave, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

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