IDF recovers body of Israeli hostage from Gaza Strip

Military informs family of Elia Toledano, who was abducted by Hamas on October 7, of his death; friends, relatives mourn his loss
the IDF reported that the body of 28-year-old Israeli hostage Elia Toledano, who was abducted into Gaza from the music festival near Kibbutz Re’im on October 7, was recovered by a special forces unit and returned to Israel overnight.
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Daniel, Elia’s brother, mourned his loss following the announcement, saying, “Everyone’s smiles have been dimmed forever. My little brother was a man full of joy, a symbol of true friendship and endless generosity. To think that I’ll never see his sweet smile again makes me not want to ever smile without him again.”
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אליה טולדנו נעדר
אליה טולדנו נעדר
Elia Toledano
Toledano, who held a dual Israeli-French nationality, was abducted into Gaza by Hamas terrorists on October 7. Since then, his family and friends didn’t know of his fate or whether he was still alive.
Following an identification process conducted by medical and military rabbinate officials, along with the Abu Kabir Forensic Medicine and the Israel Police, Toledo's family was informed of his death and that his body had been returned to Israel.
“The IDF sends the family its heartfelt condolences. Our national mission is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home. We are working together with security agencies, and with all intelligence and operational means in order to return all of the hostages home,” the military said in a statement.
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Scene of Re'im music festival following Hamas' attack
(Photo: Jack GUEZ / AFP)
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said that her country feels "deep pain" over Toledano’s death and shares in his family’s grief.
Eliahu Toledo's friend, Dudi, mourned him, saying, "Goodbye, my friend. The boy with the happiest smile, the best guy in the world. I hoped that somehow things would turn out differently. I love you so much. We will not forget, and we will not forgive.”
Rina, another one of Tolando’s friends, said, "You were an angel. You brought joy and goodness anywhere you went. You had the most beautiful smile in the world, one which a person can only see once in a lifetime. What remains are the memories and the good times I had with you, etched in my memory and in my heart forever.”
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