Tattoo artist Shani Louk became a symbol of the music festival massacre by Hamas. The IDF has finally recovered her body.

  • The IDF recovered three hostages' bodies from the Gaza Strip, including Shani Louk's.

  • Hamas militants killed the hostages on October 7 during the Nova Music Festival massacre.

  • Shani Louk became symbolic of October 7 after photos and video footage of her abduction went viral.

The Israel Defense Forces recovered three hostages' bodies from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military announced on Friday.

In a press briefing, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, IDF spokesperson, said, "It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that last night the Israel Defense Forces and ISA forces rescued the bodies of our hostages: Shani Louk, Amit Buskila and Yitzchak Gleren-ter."

Shani Louk became a symbol of Hamas' October 7 terrorist incursion into Israel after photos and video footage of her body being abducted went viral.

Hamas militants killed the three hostages on October 7 as they tried to flee the Nova Music Festival massacre, and their bodies were taken into Gaza.

Louk's father, Nissim Louk, spoke of the "relief" of finally having secured the body of his 22-year-old daughter.

"We were informed that soldiers of a commando team were found bodies, and the condition of the body was really good. It was in a relatively deep place in a deep tunnel and very cold," he said, per The Daily Mail.

The three bodies were transferred to medical professionals for forensic examination and identification, per Hagari's statement. After the procedure was complete, the IDF notified their families.

"We will leave no stone unturned," said Hagari. "We will do everything in our power to find our hostages and bring them home. We will not rest until we do."

The Associated Press freelancer Ali Mahmud won the Reynolds Journalism Institute's award for the team picture story of the year for an image showing Shani Louk's lifeless body in the back of a pickup truck and surrounded by Hamas militants.

Louk's father, Nissim Louk, defended the controversial decision to award the distressing image.

"It's good that the photo won the prize," he said. "This is one of the most important photos in the last 50 years. These are some of the photos that shape human memory."

Hamas militants drive back to the Gaza Strip with the body of Shani Louk.
Hamas militants drive back to the Gaza Strip with the body of Shani Louk.AP Photo/Ali Mahmud

More than 360 people were killed at the Nova festival near Kibbutz Re'im, and 40 were captured, per the Times of Israel.

On October 7 Hamas militants also seized 252 hostages in Israel; 129 hostages are still in captivity in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli broadcaster Kan.

Since October 7, Israel's retaliatory military campaign on Gaza has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. More than 10,000 are missing or trapped under rubble from the IDF's bombardments.

Read the original article on Business Insider