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January 16, 2024 Israel-Hamas war

Hamas hostage Yossi Sharabi (L) and Itai Svirsky are seen on a Hamas video released on Jan 14. EyePress/Reuters

Two Israeli men held hostage in Gaza since October 7, and featured in recent videos released by Hamas, have died, according to short statements from their home village released on Tuesday.

Kibbutz Be’eri announced the deaths of Yossi Sharabi and Itai Svirsky in separate statements released with the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum headquarters. 

Sharabi, 53, was “a loving and devoted father and husband, a real family man with a big heart,” the kibbutz statement said. “A kind soul, he was caring and known for his dedication to all those around him.”

Originally from Tel Aviv, Sharabi moved to Kibbutz Be’eri 30 years ago, “following in the footsteps of his brother Eli, as he wanted to embrace the communal lifestyle there,” the kibbutz said.

He leaves behind a wife and three daughters. Sharabi’s brother Eli was also kidnapped from his home in Kibbutz Be’eri and is still held captive by Hamas.

Eli’s wife and daughters were murdered in the October 7 massacre, according to the kibbutz.  

Sharabi’s body is still being held by Hamas, the kibbutz said. It called on the Israeli government to do “everything possible to bring the Sharabi family back home, as well as the other hostages.” 

In a separate statement, Kibbutz Be’eri also announced the death of Itai Svirsky.  

“Our hearts go out to the family in their immense pain,” the kibbutz said. “May his memory be a blessing.” 

Svirsky’s body is also still held by Hamas, the kibbutz said, adding “we will demand its return with the rest of our abductees.”

The announcement of the two men’s deaths came a day after the Israeli military expressed grave concerns about their fate following the release of a video by Hamas claiming to show their dead bodies.

Israel’s defense minister said Hamas was practicing “psychological torment” by releasing videos of hostages.

CNN’s Andrew Carey, Amir Tal and Ivana Kottasová contributed to this report.

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