Four more Israeli hostages have died in Hamas custody

Four Israelis taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7 have been confirmed dead, the Israel Defense Forces said Monday.

The families of Nadav Popplewell, Yoram Metzger, Amiram Cooper and Haim Perry were informed that they are “no longer alive” and that Hamas has their remains, the IDF said.

The deaths were announced as an Israeli cease-fire proposal backed by President Joe Biden was being challenged by right-wing ministers in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government who are opposed to any deal with Hamas.

The IDF’s said its decision to “pronounce the four hostages dead was based on intelligence.”

“We estimate that the four of them were killed together in the Khan Yunis area several months ago while being held by Hamas terrorists,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said.

Hagari did not say how they died. But in March, Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson Abu Ubaida announced that Perry, Metzger and Cooper were among the seven hostages killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza.

Last month, Popplewell was seen in a propaganda video released by Hamas, Israeli media reported.

Popplewell, who was 51, had been taken captive with his mother from their home at the Kibbutz Nirim.

A missing poster of Nadav Popplewell
Nadav Popplewell was taken captive Oct. 7 with his mother from Kibbutz Nirim. She was released in November.Jack Guez / AFP – Getty Images file

“Kibbutz Nirim announces with deep sorrow the death of abductee Nadav Popplewell in the captivity of Hamas in Gaza,” the community said in a statement released Monday.

Popplewell’s elderly mother, Hanna Perry, was among a group of more than a dozen Israeli hostages who were released on Nov. 24 as part of a temporary cease-fire deal.

Metzger, who was 83 and lived in the Nir Oz Kibbutz, was last seen alive in December in a video released by Hamas.

At the time, his son Guy told NBC News that he was “really worried” about his father and that he seemed “very, very tired.”

“He looks very sick, also his friends,” the younger Metzger said. “We are really worried about their condition.”

Some 125 Israeli hostages remain in captivity nearly eight months after they were abducted in a deadly surprise attack by Hamas that sparked the ongoing war in Gaza.

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