Two hostages confirmed dead, bodies held by Hamas: joint statement by kibbutzim

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An Israeli and a Tanzanian taken hostage by Hamas on October 7 have died in captivity in Gaza, their respective kibbutzim announced in a joint statement on Wednesday night.

Tal Chaimi, 41, was a third-generation member of Kibbutz Ner Yitzhak. The father of three, a dual Romanian citizen, was a member of the kibbutz’s security team. It was thought that he had been taken alive to Gaza, but new evidence indicates Chaimi was killed and his body taken to Gaza, the kibbutz said.

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“His family and friends say that he was always the first to help, to lend a hand, and to instill calm and confidence in everyone around him,” the statement said.

Joshua Mollel, a 21-year-old agricultural intern from Tanzania, was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz. The statement said Mollel was murdered in captivity.

“We send condolences to Joshua’s family. May his memory be a blessing,” the statement said.

At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7.

Hamas holds more than 130 men, women and children captive in Gaza. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.

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