A 25-year-old Israeli captive has reportedly died after almost two months in the captivity of Hamas militants in Gaza, according to reports on Saturday. Sahar Baruch, an electrical engineering student abducted by Hamas on October 7 from his kibbutz in southern Israel, was featured in a Hamas propaganda video released on Friday.
Hamas claimed that he was killed during an Israeli Defense Forces operation aimed at freeing hostages. However, there is no confirmation of this. The video shows Baruch first speaking on camera before his body is displayed on a bed while in the captivity of Hamas. The IDF refuted the claims and said that Baruch was murdered by Hamas.
On Saturday, members of Kibbutz Be'eri, where Sahar Baruch lived with his family, along with the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, confirmed his death.
"It is with great sadness and a broken heart that we announce the murder of Sahar Baruch (25), who was kidnapped from his home by Hamas terrorists to Gaza on the Black Sabbath and murdered there," said the community in a statement.
The disturbing video shows a lean and thin Baruch speaking on camera where he introduced himself first. "I am Sahar Baruch and I was captured on October 7."
"It has been 40 days and I want to go home."
The video then cuts and shows Baruch's body lying on a bed while in Hamas captivity.
The family of the Ben Gurion University student is reportedly now insisting on the return of his remains in any potential future hostage release agreement, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.
Tragic End of Life
Baruch, whose brother Idan was killed by Hamas during the October 7 incident, was initially considered missing for weeks. It was only later that his family received confirmation that he was being held captive by Hamas.
"Sahar was at home with his brother Idan at his mother's house," said an aunt in an interview with Israeli media Saturday. "They woke up in the morning, like the rest of us, from alerts and the explosions.They entered and closed themselves in the mamad [protected space] but couldn't close the door," so they closed it with a closet" She continued.
"When the fire started, three grenades were thrown into the mamad – Idan was hit and Sahar treated him for hours."
The brothers decided to jump from their home as it caught fire, the aunt explained.
She added, "In the beginning, Idan jumped and probably near that he was shot and killed. Sahar stayed behind for a few more minutes to bring him the inhaler because Idan was asthmatic. For more than two weeks we did not know what happened to him, and then some information was received that he was not in Israeli territory."
Just before the Hamas attack, Baruch was eagerly looking forward to the start of the school year and had plans to search for a place to live in Be'er Sheva, a city in the Negev Desert.