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Hamas says two Israeli hostages are dead, as IDF calls videos ‘psychological torment’ of captives’ families

Israel said Monday that Hamas is carrying out “psychological torment” as the militant group released a third video in the space of 24 hours featuring the same three hostages being held in Gaza, the last of which appears to show two of the hostages dead.

“Hamas are hit badly by the IDF and all that is left for them is to bring psychological torment to the families [of the hostages], leaving the IDF to clarify things for the families later,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told reporters on Monday.

The first video, released Sunday, showed clips of the three hostages – Noa Argamani, Itai Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi - speaking to a camera. It ended with a caption saying, “Tomorrow, we will inform you of their fate.”

A second video, released Monday, in an apparent attempt by Hamas to ramp up concerns, repeated the message that the fate of the three hostages would soon be made public.

The third video, released later Monday, appeared to show the dead bodies of two of the hostages, Svirsky and Sharabi. It also featured Noa Argamani saying both men had been killed by Israeli bombing.

Yossi Sharabi, 53, was apparently shown dead in the third video released by Hamas. - Hostages and Missing Families Forum
Yossi Sharabi, 53, was apparently shown dead in the third video released by Hamas. - Hostages and Missing Families Forum

It is not clear if Argamani was speaking under duress. The video is also highly edited, with the adding of audio effects and the looping of some of her words.

IDF chief spokesperson Daniel Hagari addressed the videos in his Monday evening briefing saying Itai Svirsky had not been hit by Israeli forces as the third video claimed. He said the IDF had not struck the building where the three were being held, as the video also claimed, but had hit nearby.

“We do not strike in places where we know there may be hostages,” Hagari said. “In hindsight, we know we struck targets near to the location where they were being held. We are investigating the event and its circumstances, examining the images distributed by Hamas, alongside additional information at our disposal.”

The army spokesperson added that IDF representatives had met with the families of the three hostages and updated them on the latest information they had, adding the IDF “expressed grave concern” for the fate of two of the captives.

CNN is not airing the videos, and it is not immediately possible to verify when and where they were filmed.

Noa Argamani was kidnapped from the Nova festival alongside her boyfriend on October 7. - Handout
Noa Argamani was kidnapped from the Nova festival alongside her boyfriend on October 7. - Handout

‘Please know that I love you very much’

Hamas and other groups took around 240 hostages into Gaza on October 7. More than 100 Israeli and foreign hostages were freed during a weeklong truce in late November, with Palestinians held in Israeli prisons being released in exchange for the Israelis.

Israel believes 132 hostages remain in Gaza, with around 107 thought to still be alive.

Argamani, 26, who was seen speaking in two of the videos, was kidnapped from the Nova festival alongside her boyfriend Avinatan Or. Argamani was seen in a video, released by Hamas at the time, being dragged away on a motorbike.

Her mother Leora has stage four brain cancer and in a video that she recorded at the end of last year, she pleaded for the safe return of her daughter, saying: “Noa, I want to tell you that if I don’t see you please know that I love you very much.”

Svirsky was kidnapped while visiting his family on Kibbutz Be’eri from his home in Tel Aviv. The 38-year-old dual Israeli-German citizen had been at the house of his mother, Orit Svirsky, a committed peace activist.

Orit was gunned down in front of him, and it later emerged that her ex-husband Rafi – Svirsky’s father – was also murdered, alongside his three dogs. Svirsky’s 97-year-old maternal grandmother, Aviva Sela, survived the attack, but her Filipina carer, Grace Cabrera, 45, was killed.

Svirsky has a degree in psychology and economics and had recently begun working as a life coach, his family told CNN. According to his family, one of the hostages released in November contacted his sister to let her know he was alive after memorizing her phone number. That was the family’s last “proof of life.”

Sharabi, 53, was “a loving and devoted father and husband, a real family man with a big heart,” Kibbutz Be’eri, where he lived, said in a statement shared by Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum . “A kind soul, he was caring and known for his dedication to all those around him.”

Originally from Tel Aviv, Sharabi moved to Kibbutz Be’eri 30 years ago, “following in the footsteps of his brother Eli, as he wanted to embrace the communal lifestyle there,” the kibbutz said.

He leaves behind a wife and three daughters. Sharabi’s brother Eli was also kidnapped from his home in Kibbutz Be’eri and is still held captive by Hamas. Eli’s wife and daughters were murdered on October 7, according to the kibbutz.

Sharabi’s body is still being held by Hamas, the kibbutz said. It called on the Israeli government to do “everything possible to bring the Sharabi family back home, as well as the other hostages.”

This story has been updated to reflect the IDF naming the third hostage shown in the videos, Yossi Sharabi.

CNN’s Amir Tal and Ivana Kottasová contributed to this report.

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