Tanzanian national taken hostage by Hamas confirmed dead

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(LONDON) — A Tanzanian national who had been missing since being taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7 has been confirmed dead, Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced.

Joshua Mollel, 21, was a Tanzanian student who had been working as an agricultural intern at a kibbutz near Israel’s border with Gaza on Oct. 7, Tanzanian officials said.

“We have been informed by the Government of Israel that Joshua Mollel, a Young Tanzanian who was studying in Israel, and with whom we lost contact since October 7 2023, and with whom the Government has been making great efforts to obtain information on since then, was killed immediately after being captured by a group of Hamas on October 7th,” January Makamba, Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Tanzanian government has been in touch with Joshua Mollel’s family, Makamba announced, and aim to send his father along with another family member and Tanzanian government officials to Israel to meet Tanzania’s ambassador to Israel and speak with authorities to get additional information.

“With the consent of the family, and when necessary, we will provide additional information in the future,” said Makamba.

Mollel’s body is believed to still be held by Hamas within the Gaza Strip, according to the Israel Foreign Ministry.

In a Facebook post, Kibbutz Nahal Oz sent condolences to Mollel’s family.

“This evening, we were informed that Joshua Luito Molal [sic], who was declared missing since 7th October, was kidnapped to the Gaza Strip and murdered,” announced Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the post. “His body is held by Hamas… May his memory be a blessing.”

At least 1,200 people were killed and 6,900 others injured when Hamas launched its surprise terror attack on Israel on Oct. 7, according to the Israeli prime minister’s office. In Gaza, more than 18,600 people have been killed and more than 50,500 injured, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health.

Mollel is the second Tanzanian national confirmed to have been killed since Oct. 7. Clemence Mtenga, another Tanzanian national was confirmed dead in November and Tanzanian officials say they are in communication with Israel to repatriate his body back home for burial.

Both Mollel and Mtenga were one of the many Tanzanian students in Israel taking part in an “Agricultural Internship Program,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said, which is part of an agreement between the governments of Israel and Tanzania.

Eyat Shlein, Head of Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) said they learned of Mollel’s death “with great sorrow.”

“May he rest in peace,” said Shlein.

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