Shani Louk, a 23 year old Israeli-German woman seized by Hamas militants from a music festival during the 7 October raid, has been declared dead, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Shortly after the Hamas attack, which killed more than 1,400 people, a video emerged showing the young woman lying motionless near a group of armed Hamas militants in the back of a pickup truck driving through Gaza City. Her family had been able to identify her from some tattoos. Louk became one of the faces of the more than 200 Israelis and foreigners seized by Hamas.
The 23 year old’s mother, Riccarda Louk, confirmed her daughter’s death to the German news agency DPA on Tuesday.
According to her mother, Louk’s body has not been found. However, a fragment of skull was found by Israeli troops, which DNA tests proved to be hers.
Her mother now believes that her daughter has been dead since 7 October and that she may have been killed by a bullet to the head. Initially, her family thought she had been seriously injured. Riccarda Louk has been campaigning for the release of all the hostages in recent weeks.
At least 260 festival-goers were killed on the morning of 7 October in the deadliest attack on Israel in decades. It took hours for security forces to reach those hiding or trying to flee.
Israeli authorities on Sunday confirmed that 239 people were being held hostage in Gaza. Forty others remain unaccounted for since the attack, as identification work has not been completed. Hamas has so far released four hostages.
At least 8,525 Palestinians, including 3,542 children, have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since 7 October, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.