1 of 4 | Israel Defense Forces Col. Ori Magidish (C) is shown reunited with her family after being rescued by the IDF in northern Gaza. She had been kidnapped by Hamas militants during the Oct. 7 assault on Israel. Photo courtesy Israel Defense Forces/X
Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Israel on Monday announced the rescue of a soldier who had been held captive by Hamas while the militant group published a video of three other Israeli hostages and called for the release of its prisoners.
The Israel Defense Forces said Col. Ori Magidish, who was kidnapped from the Nahal Oz military base by invading Hamas fighters during their Oct. 7 surprise assault into Israel, was rescued by the IDF while conducting stepped-up ground assaults in the northern Gaza Strip.
Magidish, 19, underwent a medical examination and doctors pronounced her in good condition as she was reunited with her family, military officials said in a social media post.
"The IDF and [Israeli intelligence agency] Shin Bet will continue to make every effort to bring about the release of the abductees," they wrote.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog celebrated her return in social media post, writing, "I was moved to see the soldier Ori Magidish return home to her loving family, after a daring operation by the IDF and Shin Bet."
"Our security forces operate around the clock in Gaza, in the north, in the West Bank and everywhere, on land, in the air and at sea; with endless dedication, while risking their lives, with a sense of mission and love for the people and the country. We strengthen them, back them up and trust them," he said.
Magidish became the first Israeli soldier to be rescued since hundreds of people, including dozens of her fellow service members, were kidnapped on Oct. 7.
Following her rescue, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Israel has "a moral obligation to do everything we can" to free the remaining hostages, which he said now number 238.
Only four have been released so far.
"Hamas terrorists are still holding men and women, children and babies, the elderly and the disabled, hostage in Gaza," he said, adding it is the world's obligation, not just Israel's, to free them since their ranks include French, German, American and British nationals.
Meanwhile, Hamas on Monday released a video showing three female Israeli hostages and demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree to a prisoner-hostage exchange.
The three, identified as Elena Trupanov, Daniel Aloni, and Rimon Kirsht, are shown seated at a table while one of the women addresses Netanyahu directly with increasing anger.
The video, seen as an effort to stoke domestic opposition to Netanyahu amid his plunging approval numbers, was denounced by the prime minister as "cruel psychological propaganda."
"We are hugging the families. We will do everything to return all the kidnapped and missing people home," he said in a statement. "To Yelena Trupanob, Daniel Aloni and Rimon Kirsht, who were abducted by Hamas, which is committing war crimes. I embrace you. Our hearts are with you and the other the captives. We are doing everything to bring home all of the captives and missing."
Monday's developments came as a German-Israeli woman who was once believed to be a hostage, identified as 22-year-old Shani Louk, was confirmed dead by her mother.
In an interview with German broadcaster RTL, Ricarda Louk said her daughter was at the Supernova music festival in southern Israel on Oct. 7 when Hamas fighters attacked the site and carried out a slaughter in which at least 260 concertgoers were killed.
She said Shani was likely killed at the festival and that reports indicating she had been taken alive to Gaza were erroneous. The IDF confirmed that her remains had been found in Gaza, while Israeli President Isaac Herzog told the German newspaper Bild she was likely beheaded.
"The news of Shani Louk's death is terrible," German Chancellor Olof Scholz said in a statement. "She was brutally murdered like many others."
The German leader said the incident shows "all the barbarity of the Hamas attack, which must be punished. This is terrorism and Israel has the right to defend itself."
A man carries the Israeli flag through an installation called "Empty Beds," which symbolizes the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza since October 7 at Safra Square in Jerusalem on October 30, 2023. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo