Israeli archeologists help uncover remains of missing people in burnt homes after Hamas attack

Archeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority have been used to uncover the remains of the dead in burnt houses who were considered missing following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israelis through the use of techniques employed during excavations of burnt and destroyed ancient sites, the authority said. 

For two weeks, archeologists have been combing and sieving ash from burnt homes in which families from Kibbutz Beeri, Kfar Aza and Nir Oz were killed, as well as the contents of burnt cars from the party at Kibbutz Reim, the IAA said. The remains of at least 10 people have been found, it said.

‘The archeological methods employed at ancient sites are similar to the methods applied here, but it is one thing to expose 2000-year-old destruction remains, and quite another thing — heart-rending and unfathomable — to carry out the present task searching for evidence of our sisters and brothers in the settlements,’ the agency said. 

The archeologists were broken into two teams to look for evidence of missing people known to be in the homes at the time of the multi-pronged attack that killed around 1,400 people. They were requested by Col. Yossi Cohen of the Gaza Division of the Israel Defense Forces. 

The IAA said the workers have used their knowledge acquired ‘in archeological excavations of burnt and destroyed ancient sites, and have discovered many signs of human remains.’

Of the 10 people deceased, some have been buried, and other evidence was brought to the Shura Army Base.

‘Taking into account all the difficulty and the emotional challenges involved, our hope is that we can contribute to the certain identification for as many as possible families, regarding the fate of their dear ones,’ said IAA Director Eli Escusido. ‘I salute our archeologists for their immediate agreement — by no means to be taken for granted — to take part in this difficult task. It is an honor and a great responsibility, that they are carrying out with great respect.’

The IDF have pummeled the Gaza Strip in the weeks since the unprecedented attack on Israeli border communities. The war has seen thousands of casualties on both sides and is the deadliest in Israel’s history.

More fatalities are expected as Hamas and Israeli officials have been unable to agree on a cease-fire.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel would only agree to a cease-fire and its relentless pursuit of Hamas operatives if they release the hostages, which include people from nationalities around the globe. 

Fox News Digital’s Lawrence Richard contributed to this report. 

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