Hamas says two Israeli hostages dead as IDF inflicts what it calls 'psychological torture' on captives' families

Manu Fernandes/AP

Naama Weinberg shows a photo of her cousin Itai Svirsky during a press conference of family members of Israelis held by Hamas on October 26, 2023.



CNN

Israel said Hamas was carrying out “psychological torture” on Monday after the militant group released a third video in less than 24 hours showing the same three hostages being held in Gaza, with two of the last hostages apparently dead.

“Hamas has been badly hit by the IDF and all they have left is to inflict psychological pain on the families. [of the hostages]Then I leave the IDF to clarify things for the families,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told reporters on Monday.

The first video, released on Sunday, showed clips of the three hostages – Noah Arkamani, Itai Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi – speaking to the camera. It ended with the caption, “Tomorrow, we will inform you of their fate.”

A second video released on Monday repeated news that the fate of the three hostages would soon be made public, in an apparent attempt by Hamas to stoke concerns.

A third video released late Monday appeared to show the bodies of two hostages, Svirsky and Sharabi. It also includes Noah Arkamani's claim that both were killed by Israeli bombing.

Hostage and Missing Families Forum

A third video released by Hamas showed Yossi Sharabi, 53, dead.

It is not known whether Arkamani was persuasive. The video is also heavily edited with audio effects and looping of some of his words.

IDF Chief Spokesman Daniel Hagari addressed the videos at a Monday evening briefing, saying Itai Svirsky was not attacked by Israeli forces as a third video claims. He said the IDF did not attack the building where the trio was staying, but rather nearby, as the video states.

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“We don't strike where we know there might be hostages,” Hagari said. “In retrospect, we know they hit targets close to where they were held. We are investigating the event and its circumstances, examining the images distributed by Hamas and any additional information we have.

The military spokesman added that IDF representatives met with the families of the three hostages and updated them on the latest information they had, adding that the IDF “expressed grave concern” over the fate of two of the hostages.

CNN did not broadcast the videos and could not immediately verify when or where they were filmed.

Manual

Noah Arcamani was abducted from the Noah festival on October 7 with her boyfriend.

Hamas and other groups took about 240 hostages in Gaza on October 7. More than 100 Israeli and foreign hostages were released during a week-long ceasefire in late November, with Palestinians in Israeli jails released in exchange for Israelis.

Israel believes there are 132 hostages in Gaza, with around 107 believed to be still alive.

Speaking in two videos, Arkhamani, 26, was abducted from the Nova festival with her boyfriend Avinathan Orr. In a video released by Hamas at the time, Arkamani was seen being dragged away on a motorcycle.

His mother, Leora, has stage four brain cancerThe video he recorded at the end of last year, She begged for her daughter's safe return: “Noah, if I don't see you, I want you to know that I love you very much.”

Swirsky was abducted from his home in Tel Aviv to visit his family in Kibbutz Biri. The 38-year-old dual Israeli-German citizen was staying at the home of his mother, Orit Svirsky, a staunch peace activist.

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Orit was shot dead in front of her, then her ex-husband Rafi – Swirski's father – was murdered along with her three dogs. Swirski's 97-year-old maternal grandmother, Aviva Sela, survived the attack, but her Filipina caregiver, Grace Cabrera, 45, was killed.

Swirsky has degrees in psychology and economics and recently started working as a life coach, his family told CNN. According to his family, one of the hostages freed in November contacted his sister and informed her that he was alive after memorizing her phone number. That was the last “proof of life” of the family.

This story has been updated to reflect the name of Yossi Sharabi, the third hostage shown in the videos.

CNN's Amir Tal and Ivana Kotasova contributed to this report.

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