Shani Louk, 23-year-old kidnapped by Hamas from music festival, declared dead, Israel says

Shani Louk, a 23-year-old Israeli citizen, was kidnapped by Hamas in August 2018 while attending the Abarim music festival. It is believed that Louk was taken by members of Hamas’ special forces while she was crossing the security fence and taken into Gaza.

In June of 2019, the Israeli government declared Louk dead and said they had evidence that she had been killed in the summer of 2018. However, Israeli officials have been unable to provide further details or proof of her death.

In the wake of Louk’s death, rights groups and Israeli officials have criticised Hamas’ actions as the group’s use of civilians as hostages to extract money and political concessions from the Israeli government violates international law. The kidnappers have not been identified and no group has admitted responsibility.