Netanyahu, IDF – Keeping Israel Secure

By | May 18, 2024

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 17, 2024 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, commented on the tragic return of three dead hostages murdered by Hamas that the Israel Defense Forces recovered.  

Shani Louk, a 22-year-old German-Israeli; Amit Buskila, 28; and Itshak Gelernter, 56.

IDF Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the IDF believes all three were murdered by Hamas while escaping the Nova music festival on Oct. 7 and their bodies were taken into Gaza.

“This terrible loss is heart-breaking. My wife Sara and I grieve with the families; all of our hearts are with them in their hour of heavy sorrow,” said Netanyahu.

We will return all of our hostages, the living and the deceased alike.

I commend our brave forces whose determined action has returned the sons and daughters to their own border.”

The IDF said the bodies were found overnight, without elaborating, and did not give immediate details on where they were located. Israel has been operating in the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Rafah, where it says it has intelligence that hostages are being held.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Soldiers: “The battle in Rafah is critical. It is a battle that will decide many things in this campaign.

Netanyahu took an aerial tour over the Gaza Strip, with IDF Deputy Chief-of-Staff Maj.-Gen. Amir Baram and IDF 162nd Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Itzik Cohen. During the flight, the Prime Minister received an aerial briefing on activity in the Strip from the 162nd Division commander, while focusing in depth on the operations of the Division in the Rafah sector.

Netanyahu and the IDF Deputy Chief-of-Staff then visited the 55th Artillery Battalion at the Bnei Netzarim base, where Battalion Commander Lt.-Col. Mor Gurevich briefed them on the activity of the Battalion since the start of the war and recent efforts in the Rafah sector. The Prime Minister also met with Battalion commanders and fighters and heard from them about operational activity in the southern sector.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the fighters: “We are here on a difficult day on which we were informed that five of our soldiers fell. This will not lessen our fighting spirit.

You are the generation of victory. You have been fighting in exemplary fashion, with sacrifice and great continuity over long months. The people of Israel are proud of you; I am proud of you. We are continuing on to victory.

The battle in Rafah is critical. It is not only the remaining battalions there but their escape and supply pipelines. This battle, of which you are an integral part, is a battle that will decide many things in this campaign.

I reiterate: We are in a critical battle now. Your actions are assisting it. Its conclusion will advance us a great distance toward defeating the enemy.

I would simply like to commend you and thank you on behalf of all citizens of Israel and the Jewish people for what you are doing. I know that you are eating a lot of dust but you are doing a great thing. Thank you!”