Shani Louk, believed kidnapped on Oct. 7, was likely already dead when she was taken into Gaza, family says.


Shani Louk, a 23-year-old German-Israeli citizen believed to have been abducted by Hamas militants while attending a music festival on Oct. 7, was most likely killed before she was taken into Gaza, her family said on Monday.

Ruthi Louk, Ms. Louk’s aunt, said on Israeli radio on Monday that a fragment from Ms. Louk’s skull was gathered at the rave site by workers from ZAKA, a relief organization that retrieved forensic evidence after Hamas’s attacks. Israel’s foreign ministry confirmed her death on Monday in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Shortly after Oct. 7, Hamas released a video of a woman lying face down and mostly naked in the back of a pickup truck in Gaza. Ms. Louk’s mother said she believed it was her daughter because the person had Ms. Louk’s signature dreadlocks and tattoos. The New York Times did not independently verify the video.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said the National Institute of Forensic Medicine had identified the bone as being from the base of Ms. Louk’s skull and had said the fragment indicated an injury that was not something Ms. Louk could have survived. The institute would not comment to The Times.

“It is assumed she was dragged onto that pickup truck after she was already dead,” her aunt said on Israeli radio. She added that the family believed Ms. Louk was fatally shot in the head.

“Maybe there can be comfort by the thought she died fast and the abuse to her body was perhaps done when she was already gone,” she said.

The New York Times was not able to immediately reach Ms. Louk’s family for comment.

“The news of Shani Louk’s death is terrible,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on X on Monday afternoon. “Like many others, she was brutally murdered. This shows the full barbarity behind the Hamas attack — who must be held accountable. This is terror, and Israel has the right to defend itself.”

Ms. Louk’s sister, Adi Louk, posted a picture of her in an Instagram story on Monday.

“With immense sorrow we announce the death of my sister Shani Nicole Louk,” she wrote.

Ainara Tiefenthäler contributed translation from New York.

You may also like...