An 85-year-old Israeli hostage has just died in Hamas' captivity.
The hostage, Aryeh Zalmanovich, is reported by the Wall Street Journal, to be the oldest Israeli hostage that Hamas had in its custody.
Zalmanovich was one of the founders of Kibbutz Nir Oz, a small farming community that saw the worst of Hamas' Oct. 7, 2023, terrorist attack against Israel.
Kibbutz Nir Oz released the following statement on Zalmanovich's passing:
With great sadness Kibbutz Nir Oz announces the murder of Aria (Zalman) Zalmanowicz. Zalman was 85 years old, and was a founder of Kibbutz Nir Oz.
Zalman was a father of two and grandfather of five grandchildren. He was a man of the land, dedicated to agriculture his entire life. He was an avid reader, with a wide knowledge of history and the country. May his memory be a blessing.
The group, as you can see, did refer to Zalmanovich as being "murdered," which is, no doubt, because he died in Hamas's custody and because it does not appear that Hamas was doing much to care for him.
According to Fox News, "Israeli officials said Zalmanovitch was recently seen looking sick in a video Hamas released a few weeks ago."
Zalmanovitch, in fact, was one of three hostages to recently die in Hamas' captivity. The other two, according to Fox, are "56-year-old mother and kindergarten teacher Maya Goren and 54-year-old father and photographer Ronen Engel."
Like Zalmanovitch, Goren and Engel were also members of Kibbutz Nir Oz.
Kibbutz Nir Oz wrote:
With great sorrow Kibbutz Nir Oz announces the murder of Ronen Engel. Ronen was 54 years old, a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz. Married to Carina, and father to Tom, Mika, and Yuval. A photographer, a volunteer in Magen David Adom (the national EMS organization), and a motorcycle enthusiast.
His wife and two daughters were abducted to Gaza on October 7 and have been released this week.
May his memory be a blessing.
The group also wrote:
With great sorrow Kibbutz Nir Oz announces the murder of Maya Goren. Maya was 56 years old, and a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz. She was a mother of four children: Assif, Bar, Gal and Dekel. Maya was a hardworking and dedicated kindergarten teacher, and gave loving care to the kibbutz children for many years. Her husband, 56 year old Avner Goren, was slaughtered in the October 7th massacre. May her memory be a blessing.
It is not clear how Israeli authorities confirmed the deaths of Zalmanovich, Engle, and Goren. But, it is clear that this is another consequence of Hamas' Oct. 7 terrorist attack.
What former President Donald Trump was right about is the fact that President Joe Biden shares some blame for all of this.
Shortly after the Oct. 7 attack, NBC News reported:
The war, in which Israel is now laying siege to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, "happened for three reasons," Trump said: Iran reaping oil revenue from relaxed sanctions enforcement, "our country's perceived weakness" during Biden's term, and the U.S. freeing up $6 billion in Iranian funds for humanitarian efforts as part of a prisoner swap.
Since then, Trump has consistently argued that Biden's weakness on the world stage has only served to embolden the world's bad actors, like Hamas. What we have seen during the Biden administration - from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to Hamas' attack on Israel - proves Trump's point.