Israeli man thought to be Hamas hostage found dead in his village

A man who had gone missing and presumed to have been taken hostage by Hamas during their 7 October attack has been found dead in his village, the Israeli military said on Monday.

The body of Dolev Yehud, 35, was recovered from the border village where he lived and identified, the military said, adding that the investigation required lengthy forensics.

Yehud was likely killed during the attack on Kibbutz Nir Oz, from where Hamas militants also took several hostages.

He was a medic with the national emergency service Magen David Adom and the volunteer group United Hatzalah.

The Israeli military initially claimed Yehud had been abducted but there was no indication of his presence in Gaza, unlike in the case of other hostages taken by Hamas.

After his body was found and identified, the military informed Yehud’s family he had been a casualty of the 7 October attack which left nearly 1,100 Israeli soldiers and civilians dead.

In the wake of the attack, the Israeli military launched a ground and air offensive in Gaza that has killed nearly 36,000 people so far, reduced much of the Palestinian territory to rubble and left the majority of its 2.2 million population homeless and starving.

Last week, US president Joe Biden urged the Israeli government to seek peace. “Indefinite war in pursuit of an unidentified notion of total victory will only bog down Israel in Gaza,” the president said.

It would have the effect of “furthering Israel’s isolation in the world”, he added.

“That will not bring hostages home. That will not bring an enduring defeat of Hamas, that will not bring Israel lasting security.”

But Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that there will be no permanent ceasefire in Gaza until Hamas is destroyed, undermining Mr Biden’s announcement of a new ceasefire proposal.

Meanwhile, Israel has advised its citizens to leave Maldives after the government of the Indian Ocean archipelago announced a ban on entry of Israeli nationals amid the war in Gaza.