Troops recover body of Ofir Tzarfati in Gaza, returning him to Israel for burial

Remains of 27-year-old Kiryat Ata resident retrieved from Strip after his family was informed he was killed

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Ofir Tzarfati (Courtesy)
Ofir Tzarfati (Courtesy)

Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip recovered the body of Ofir Tzarfati, who was taken hostage by Hamas on October 7, the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security agency said Friday.

Tzarfati was declared captive after going missing at the Supernova rave festival near Re’im following the Hamas massacre there.

On Wednesday, Tzarfati’s family was notified of his death, following an identification process carried out by medical and rabbinical military officials, the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, and the Israel Police.

In a joint military and Shin Bet operation, Tzarfati’s body was brought back to Israel for burial on Friday morning.

“We share in the family’s grief,” the IDF and Shin Bet said in a joint statement.

A date of death and other details were not provided.

Tzarfati, from the northern town of Kiryat Ata, had been presumed captive until his death was confirmed Wednesday. He was celebrating his 27th birthday at the party with his girlfriend, Shoval, and friends, when he was abducted to Gaza by terrorists who killed at least 364 people at the music festival and kidnapped many others.

Soldiers retrieved Tzarfati’s remains as the IDF resumed its Gaza offensive on Friday after the breakdown of a weeklong truce, during which 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity in Gaza. Terror groups in the Strip are still holding 136 people, according to the government.

Israel launched an offensive against Hamas in Gaza after the October 7 assault on southern Israel in which some 1,200 people were killed, most of them civilians, and some 240 taken hostage.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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