A young Israeli woman who vanished following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack has been found dead, reports say.
The body of Shani Gabay, 26, was discovered Wednesday, weeks after she went missing. Gabay worked at the music festival in Kibbutz Re’im that was the target of the initial terrorist massacre last month.
Yokneam Mayor Simon Alfasi said, ‘Our Shani is gone. Our hearts are broken into pieces. We are all crying and refuse to believe, how much we waited for a different ending,’ according to The Jerusalem Post.
‘Forty-seven days of hope came to an end with receiving the bitter news this morning about the murder of Shani on October 7,’ Alfasi added.
He continued, ‘My heart goes out to my dear parents Jacob and Michal, her brother Aviel and her sister Nitzan – who for seven weeks turned every stone and went everywhere in Israel and the world to find Shani, and fought and cried out to bring her home. We all hug the family and stand by their side. May her memory be a blessing.’
The Times of Israel reported that Gabay was presumed to be a hostage before today’s announcement.
More than 300 Israeli civilians were killed in the music festival mass shooting that launched the ongoing conflict between Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
Gabay’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Yokneam. The family has requested privacy during their period of mourning.
Israel and Hamas reached a temporary cease-fire deal Wednesday that includes the release of Israeli hostages being held in the Gaza Strip.
The first of 50 hostages – including three Americans – are expected to be released from captivity in Gaza starting at 10 a.m. local time Thursday. The hostages are expected to be released in groups of 10-12 over the course of four days, if the cease-fire holds.
Fox News correspondent Jeff Paul reports that in previous releases, the hostages first went through a border crossing in the city of Rafah, at the southern end of the Gaza Strip, into Egypt.
Fox News’ Greg Norman, Landon Mion, and Elizabeth Pritchett contributed to this report.