Body of hostage Elad Katzir, farmer and social activist, returned to Israel

Father Rami was murdered and mother Hanna Katzir was also taken hostage on Oct. 7, but released Nov. 24

An undated photo of Elad Katzir before he was kidnapped by terrorists on October 7, 2023. His body was extracted from Gaza in an IDF raid on April 5, 2024 after he was murdered in captivity by Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists. (Facebook)
An undated photo of Elad Katzir before he was kidnapped by terrorists on October 7, 2023. His body was extracted from Gaza in an IDF raid on April 5, 2024 after he was murdered in captivity by Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists. (Facebook)

On April 6, 2024, the IDF announced it had recovered the body of Elad Katzir, whom the IDF believes was murdered by his captors in mid-January, not long after the Palestinian Islamic Jihad published a second video showing him in captivity. This what we know about his capture:

Elad Katzir was taken captive on October 7 by Hamas terrorists, when gunmen attacked Kibbutz Nir Oz, killing and kidnapping its residents.

Parents Hanna and Avraham ‘Rami’ Katzir were in their sealed room when Hamas terrorists attacked the community. Hours later, the family learned that their father, Rami, was murdered in the sealed room and Hanna was missing.

Elad, who was the main caretaker for his parents, managed to tell his sister Carmit Palty Katzir that terrorists had entered his home during their last conversation.

Elad, a farmer and social activist who volunteered for the Hadar Foundation, showed up each week to support the fight for the release of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, two soldiers whose bodies are held in Gaza.

He is known by his friends and family as a man of the soil, who during tense security times and attacks from Gaza, would insist on working the kibbutz lands closest to the border with Gaza.

His friends quoted him in social media posts, “This is our land, and this is the food we grow.”

In January 2009, Elad was interviewed by The New York Times, following an Israeli offensive in Gaza, and said he was nervous about sniper fire from the other side of the border.

“I do not feel any victory,” he told The New York Times. “I still do not feel safe.”

Hanna Katzir was released on November 24 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad had announced Katzir’s death, allegedly in an IDF attack, days before her release.

Hanna’s health was in serious condition after being held hostage in Gaza. She has developed heart problems due to the harsh conditions and starvation, said daughter Carmit.

Once back home in Israel, Katzir learned that her husband, Rami, was murdered on October 7 and their son, Elad, is still being held by Hamas in Gaza.

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