Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported the grim news of the discovery of the remains of two Israeli hostages during their military mission in Gaza.
The body of 27-year-old Eden Zakaria was located after her kidnapping from the Nova Music Festival. The once-celebratory event came under attack from Hamas terrorists early in the horrific Oct. 7 massacre.
IDF special forces also found the body of Sgt. Major Ziv Dado, 36. He was on active duty when he was captured by terrorist invaders.
It was not clear whether Zakaria was killed in the initial terror wave two months ago or at a later time. There had already been a funeral held for Dado on Oct. 25, and he was declared a “fallen soldier held by a terror group.”
Zacharia’s mother, Orin Ganz-Zach, posted on Facebook, “Eden my love, may your memory be a blessing.”
Both bodies were discovered in a heavily populated area of the Gaza Strip, a fact acknowledged by IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.
Two hostages' bodies have been recovered in Gaza as the IDF search for over 130 still being held by HAMAS pic.twitter.com/QzO7kVAhAc
— OldhamHeart (@heart_oldham) December 13, 2023
He reported that “special forces located the bodies of the hostage[s] inside an underground infrastructure in a densely populated area of Gaza. Hamas is holding our people hostage in brutal conditions while hiding among and under the people of Gaza.”
The remains of the two fallen Israelis were transported back to Israel and identified by medical and rabbinical authorities before their families were notified.
The Military Intelligence Directorate’s Unit 504 and the 551st Brigade carried out the mission. The bodies were located deep inside the Hamas enclave.
The specific location was near the home of former Hamas commander Ahmed Ghandour. He was recently killed by an Israeli air strike as the country continues to eradicate terror cells.
The IDF said that two Israeli soldiers lost their lives in the rescue and recovery operation.
One of those who perished was Master Sgt. (res.) Gal Meir Eisenkot, who was the son of war cabinet minister Gadi Eisenkot. Master Sgt. (res.) Eyal Meir Berkowitz also lost his life, and other military personnel were injured.
The Israeli mission into the Gaza Strip to destroy Hamas has in many instances moved underground. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Tuesday that while operations continue above ground, “there is a deep descent into the depths.”
Gallant said troops are finding “bunkers, war rooms, communications centers, ammunition depots and meeting rooms.”