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Hamas hostage Guy Iluz, son of American mother, found dead

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Doris Liber, the mother of Hamas hostage Guy Iluz, speaks with The Christian Post in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 8, 2023. | The Christian Post/Nicole Alcindor

The tragic fate of six Israeli hostages, including Guy Iluz, a 26-year-old soundman whose last moments were spent attempting to escape Hamas, has been confirmed. These individuals were abducted by the terrorists during the Oct. 7 massacre in southern Israel.

Iluz was attending the Supernova music festival on Oct. 7 in Re’im where Hamas terrorists killed over 260 people. He was abducted while many of his friends were killed. His high school in Raanana announced his death, marking him as the sixth former student killed by the terrorist group, The Times of Israel reported.

Iluz, known for his work with prominent Israeli musicians, made a desperate attempt to flee in his jeep, which resulted in the death of four passengers when terrorists fired upon the vehicle, the newspaper said, adding that in his final moments, Iluz managed to speak with his family while hiding in a tree.

The Israeli army also confirmed the identities of the other five victims: Maya Goren, Ronen Engel, Eliyahu Margalit, Arye Zalmanovich and Ofra Keidar, Haaretz reported, noting that these individuals, hailing from various backgrounds and ages, shared the tragic fate of being abducted from the Re’im party.

Zalmanovich, 86, a founding member of Kibbutz Nir Oz, was among the oldest hostages. His dedication to the kibbutz, even in the face of adversity, was highlighted by his son during a demonstration for the captives’ release.

Maya Goren, 56, a kindergarten teacher, was taken after the murder of her husband and dog.

Ronen Engel, 54, a recent graduate in water engineering, was abducted along with his family, who were later released.

Eliyahu ‘Churchill’ Margalit, 75, a long-time resident of Nir Oz, was known for his commitment to cattle raising.

Ofra Keidar, 70, from Kibbutz Be’eri, was captured during her morning walk, her last moments filled with confusion and fear.

On Friday, health officials reported that a committee of experts, using classified information, declared three additional hostages deceased, according to The Wall Street Journal, which said the Hostages and Missing Families Forum confirmed their deaths, despite the inability to access their bodies, which are believed to still be in Gaza.

The Israeli military’s recovery efforts have been ongoing. They managed to retrieve the body of Ofir Tzarfati, 27, from Gaza for burial in Israel, the Journal said.

Doris Liber, the mother of Iluz, told The Christian Post last month that she remembers hearing the sound of gunshots during her last phone call with her son, who called to say his last words before the terrorist group Hamas took him hostage. 

Liber and Guy’s father divorced when her son was about 2, and until the boy was 7, the mother said that it was just “[her] and [Guy] against the world.” As an adult, she and her son kept in touch through phone calls, and he came over once a week for dinner. They frequently chatted about philosophy.

After he connected Liber to the call, she heard gunshots in the background as her son told his mother and father that he loved them. Her son spoke in a whisper during that last phone call, but his voice didn’t sound terrified, she recalls.

“He said, ‘Nobody is coming out alive. Everybody is dead; nobody is getting out of this alive, so I need to say my last words,’” Liber relayed. 

Guy’s father advised his son not to speak so he could remain hidden from the terrorists, and Liber did the same. 

“And so, I told him, ‘Guy, I love you,’” she said before hanging up for his safety. “I regret that because that was the last time that I heard from him.”

Liber took part in a protest, held by family members of those kidnapped by Hamas, outside the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland, last month.

“I’m a single mom, and Guy is my only son. Guy is a very sensitive kid,” she said. “He’s a musician. We actually bought him an electric guitar when he was 9 years old, and he has been composing music since a very early age. He’s surrounded by his pack of friends, most of them neighbors, who practically lived at my house as well.”

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