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JERUSALEM: The Israeli military has recovered the bodies of three Israelis - a civilian and two soldiers - who had been held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas since its Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, it said on Friday.

The military said 28-year-old Elia Toledano and 19-year-old soldiers Nik Beizer and Ron Scherman were identified in a process carried out by medical officials, military rabbis and forensic experts. It did not elaborate on the circumstances of their killing, or from where in Gaza they were recovered.

Israeli media reported that Toledano was taken by Hamas from an outdoor music festival that had turned into a massacre.

Israeli strikes the length of Gaza as US calls for more accurate targeting

Palestinian authorities say Israel’s intense bombardment and ground operation in Gaza in the weeks since have killed nearly 19,000 Palestinians, wounded tens of thousands more and displaced half of the strip’s 2.3 million population.

During a week-long truce in late November, Hamas released more than 100 women, children and foreigners it was holding in Gaza in exchange for the release of 240 women and teenagers Israel had imprisoned, many without charge.

More than 130 hostages remain in Gaza. Some have been declared dead in absentia by Israeli authorities.

Eleven killed in days-long Israeli raid in West Bank: Palestinian health ministry

The Palestinian Prisoners Association said Israel has detained more than 4,400 Palestinians since Oct. 7 and is holding around half without charge.

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