Daniel Hagari, IDF spokesman
Daniel Hagari, IDF spokesmanFlash90

IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari on Saturday responded to the retrieval of hostage Elad Katzir's body from Gaza.

"In a rescue operation by the Commando Brigade, following intelligence from the Intelligence Directorate (J2) and the ISA, last night IDF soldiers rescued the body of the hostage Elad Katzir, may his memory be a blessing, from the area of Khan Yunis," Hagari said.

"Elad was brutally kidnapped from Nir Oz by Islamic Jihad terrorists along with his mother, Chana, who was released from captivity and returned home to Israel as part of the framework for the return of the hostages.

"According to the intelligence we have, Elad was murdered by his captors in January."

Hagari added, "IDF representatives delivered the message to the family of Elad, obm, this morning and updated them on the details of the operation. We share in the sorrow of the Katzir family and embrace them during this difficult time."

"An hour ago, I spoke with Carmit, the sister of Elad Katzir, obm. She told me in the spirit of her heartfelt post that alongside the consolation over her brother's burial, she expressed her deep concern for the condition of the hostages, emphasizing that every moment is critical for them."

Hagari stressed that another "133 hostages are still being held in the Gaza Strip. We will continue to make every effort to bring them home. We will not miss any opportunity to fulfill our supreme mission of bringing them back home."

Hagari also spoke about the IDF operations in Gaza: "In the southern part of the Strip, the 98th Division is fighting in Khan Yunis, and in recent weeks has focused its efforts in the Al-Amal area. The soldiers at times also engage in tough battles, close-quarters combat where terrorists are eliminated. Beyond the fighting that also takes place from the air in the area and in the entire area of Khan Yunis, the destruction of terrorist infrastructure is conducted underground in the Khan Yunis area as well."

"At this moment, we are completing the destruction of three terror tunnels that were under IDF intelligence and technological surveillance. One of the tunnels even crossed into Israeli territory. They were all located in the area of Khan Yunis. This tunnel was detected by the IDF during the construction of the barrier and since then has been clandestinely under IDF control. Inside the tunnel, IDF soldiers placed explosives and sensors. Hamas did not use the tunnel on October 7th. As part of our renewed assessments for defense in the area of the Gaza Division, we destroyed the tunnel."

Regarding the tensions in northern Israel and the flare-ups along the border with Lebanon, he said, "In the north, we are in a high state of readiness. Over the last day, we eliminated seven terrorists - three from the Al-Amal organization and four from Hezbollah."

"Yesterday in the evening, Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck a military structure of the Amal Movement in the Marjaayoun area in southern Lebanon, eliminating three terrorists who planned to carry out a terrorist attack against the State of Israel.

"During the day, fighter jets struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in southern Lebanon.

"We are widely deployed and in high readiness on all fronts. We are looking at the threats across the entire region and acting responsibly and wisely where needed."

Turning to Israeli civilians, Hagari said, "I emphasize, there is no change in guidelines of the Home Front Command."

"If there will be any changes, we will update you. Our role: to be in strong readiness on all fronts, and this is where we stand. Your responsible and exemplary conduct since the beginning of the war is what enables us to save lives. It is important to continue to follow the instructions calmly and responsibly.

"As I said, if there are changes in the guidelines, we will update you through the channels of the Home Front Command and the IDF Spokesperson's Unit."

He concluded, "Tomorrow, we will mark half a year since the outbreak of the war. It's been half a year that IDF mandatory and reserve forces have been operating on all fronts and in all arenas, in defense and in offense; they are working to achieve the war's objectives and to create a different security reality for the residents and civilians of the State of Israel, and to bring security."