An Israeli tank crosses into the security fence between Israel and Gaza in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, as seen from Sderot, Israel, 12 November 2023. EFE-EPA/NEIL HALL

Israel confirms death of female soldier held hostage by Hamas

Jerusalem, Nov 14 (EFE).- The Israeli army confirmed on Tuesday the death of a female soldier, Noa Marciano, 19, abducted by Hamas militants last month.

Ruined buildings in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, as seen from Sderot, Israel, 12 November 2023. EFE-EPA/NEIL HALL

The Palestinian Islamist group released a video showing her lifeless body on Monday, claiming that Marciano was killed in an Israeli bombing on the besieged enclave.

A military spokesperson said the soldier was part of the troops guarding the border with Gaza and died after being “brutally kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist organization.”

“Our hearts are with the Marciano family,” the military spokesperson said in a statement shortly after the militant group released the video.

“Hamas continues to use psychological terror and to act inhumanely, sending videos and photographs of captives, as it has done in the past.”

The military assured that it would continue to support her family and the families of the hostages and missing persons. “We are using all means, both intelligence and operational, to bring the hostages home.”

However, the military did not specify how they confirmed the death of the female soldier or the circumstances of her death.

The confirmation came after the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, released a propaganda video on Monday, showing Marciano before and after her death.

The militant group claimed she died on Nov. 9 in an Israeli bombing.

The video circulated on the group’s Telegram channel showed Marciano asking the military to stop bombing Gaza because the hostage held by Hamas could get killed.

“You hear a lot of explosions. The rest of the hostages and I could die from the projectiles. Please stop,” Marciano read from a paper.

The video then displayed several photos of her body with a severe head injury and missing a foot.

According to Hamas, the video of her appeal was recorded on the fourth day of her captivity at an unidentified place.

Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson Abu Obeida accused Israel of “delaying” a possible prisoner swap agreement.

He claimed an agreement was almost reached through Qatari mediators.

“The Qatari mediators tried to release the enemy’s hostages in exchange for the release of 200 Palestinian children and 75 women,” the spokesperson said.

According to him, Israel requested the release of 100 women and children held captive in the Gaza Strip, and the mediators proposed a five-day truce for the exchange, but in the end, no agreement was reached.

Palestinian militants kidnapped more than 240 people on Oct.7, when they carried out a multi-pronged offensive on Israeli soil.

They are still holding 239 hostages after releasing four and Israel rescuing a captive soldier within the enclave.

Since then, Israeli retaliatory attacks have killed over 11,180 Palestinians and wounded 28,200.

Moreover, 3,000 are missing, and over 1.5 million have been displaced in Gaza due to relentless Israeli bombing.

At least 46 Israeli soldiers have died in a ground offensive in Gaza. EFE