Shani Louk, a young German woman taken captive by Hamas from a music festival October 7, has been found dead. The Israeli government and her family confirmed IDF troops now operating in Gaza found the remains of her head.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of my sister,” her sister Adi Louk said on social media.
The 23-year-old was taken hostage when she was attending the Supernova music festival near the Gaza border, which became one of the targets of a surprise Hamas attack on October 7. Hamas killed more than 260 festival-goers that day and took others captive.
After she went missing, an appeal by her mother Ricarda Louk seeking the German and Israeli governments to get Louk back went viral on social media. “We were sent a video in which I could clearly see our daughter unconscious in the car with the Palestinians and them driving around the Gaza Strip,” she had said in the video.
The 23-year-old had been paraded naked in a pick-up truck after being captured. In videos that were shared in the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks, Shani is lying face down in a pickup truck. Her family say they identified Shani from her dreadlocks and distinctive tattoos.
Sharing the news of her death on Twitter, Israel said, “Shani who was kidnapped from a music festival and tortured and paraded around Gaza by Hamas terrorists, experienced unfathomable horrors. Our hearts are broken.”
According to German paper DW, Louk was trying to flee when she was captured by Hamas terrorists, who took her into Gaza, where she was filmed being beaten.
Israeli forces have stepped up their ground offensive in Gaza as part of the military response to the Hamas attacks that officials say killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, with another 239 people taken hostage.
–Dwight Widaman and wire services