German-Israeli woman snatched by Hamas at music festival is dead, Israel says

(Reuters) – A German-Israeli woman who was snatched by Hamas from a music festival on Oct. 7 and paraded around Gaza by the Palestinian militant group is dead, the Israeli government said on Monday.

“I am really sorry to report that we have now received news that Shani Nicole Louk has been confirmed murdered and dead,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog told Germany’s Bild newspaper.

“What we saw on the Gaza-Israel border goes far beyond a pogrom. We saw a slaughterhouse.”

Louk, 23, was one of scores of people taken by Hamas during a deadly assault on the Israeli military and civilian communities that killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians.

Hamas has not commented on Louk’s fate.

The circumstances of her death were not immediately clear.

The German government confirmed on Monday that a German national had died but did not offer specifics.

A family source told Reuters that a part of a body had been found which was matched to Louk’s DNA.

Her family initially thought she was alive but injured when she was snatched from the music festival but now believe she was killed on the same day, possibly shot in the head, German broadcaster RTL/ntv said.

“At least she didn’t suffer,” her mother Ricarda Louk told RTL/ntv.

Fierce air and artillery strikes rang out in Gaza on Monday as Israeli troops backed by tanks pressed into the Palestinian enclave with a ground assault that prompted more international calls for civilians to be protected.

(Writing by Matthias Williams, Editing by Rachel More and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)