IDF soldiers in Gaza
IDF soldiers in GazaIDF

During the IDF and ISA's overnight operation in which the Paratrooper Battalion 202, Yahalom special engineering soldiers, and Unit 504 HUMINT soldiers participated, the bodies of Shani Louk, Amit Bouskila, Ron Benyamin, and Yitzhak Galernter were rescued from underground in Jabaliya last weekend.

The IDF reported that the intelligence effort was managed by the ISA. The effort lasted several months and included intelligence gathering and analysis.

Battalion 202 spent three days fighting within the search area alone. During the fighting,Israeli forces searched a suspected building where a tunnel shaft was located. After discovering the shaft, Yahalom soldiers entered into the underground during a nighttime operation and engaged in combat inside, neutralized various obstacles, and located explosives and weapons. While advancing through the building, the Israeli forces found the bodies of the abductees and rescued them from the underground complex.

It was also reported that alongside the operational effort, the Missing Persons team at the Manpower Division, which is responsible for accompanying the families of the abducted, worked together with the Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Israeli Police in identifying the abductees and delivering notifications to the families.

Battalion 202 commander Lt. Col. Almog, said: "During the attack, one of the battalion's squads found a shaft in a building. After special forces began to investigate the shaft, they found four bodies of hostages, which we brought home for burial. No one is prouder than us to carry out the mission and bring those hostages for burial in Israel.''

The head of the Yahalom force that accompanied the mission stated, "On Saturday night, we engaged in a special operation to rescue four bodies of four hostages. When the shaft was located, we neutralized an explosive and began fighting in the tunnel. During the underground fighting, thorough searches, advanced terrain analysis, and the operative experience of our forces gave us the privilege to locate and recover the bodies for a worthy burial in Israel.''

The head of the investigation group in the Division of Missing and Captured Persons at the Intelligence Division spoke about the work of searching the information: "For months, we have been collecting intelligence and analyzing countless indications. After this complex intelligence work, we entered into communication with the IDF forces maneuvering in Gaza to direct them to the precise location that intelligence indicated.''

Reserve Brigadier-General Maggie Neuberg, commander of the Division of Missing and Captured Persons, said, "Each family is accompanied closely by a liaison officer. Over the weekend, with the initial identification, we acted in full cooperation with the Israel Police and the Institute of Forensic Medicine in preparing and briefing the teams for updating the families. The task was to be the first to reach the doorstep of the family members with official and most reliable information.''