MADRID – Spaniard Iván Illarramendi and his wife, Loren Garcovich, were killed by Hamas in the horrific October 7 attack and were never kidnapped. Israeli diplomatic sources reported this to Europa Press.
In the absence of news, the family continued to hope that Illaramendi and his wife would be among the hundreds of kidnapped civilians by the Palestinian militia. However, the bodies of both were located in the Kissufim kibbutz, near Gaza. They were later identified on Tuesday evening, the sources said. A DNA test has confirmed that the two bodies found belong to Illarramendi and Dafna Garcovich, the Spaniard’s partner.
The 46-year-old Basque from Zarautz (Gipuzkoa) lived with his Chilean wife in the Kibbutz Kissufim. It was just two kilometres from the Gaza Strip. When they heard about the attacks, they were going to a shelter. However, they still had time to talk to their relatives on the phone and tell them what was going on, until the connection was lost and there was no news.
Outgoing Prime Minister Sánchez shared his condolences with the relatives of both victims on X (formerly Twitter).
Nuestros corazones están desgarrados por la noticia del brutal asesinato de Iván Illarramendi. Ha sido identificado un mes después de la masacre terrorista cometida por Hamás en Israel, junto a su esposa Dafna Garcovich.
Nuestros pensamientos y oraciones están con sus familias… pic.twitter.com/OG6on4IuAi
— Embajadora de Israel 🇮🇱 (@Isr_Amb_Esp) November 8, 2023
The Israeli Embassy in Spain also offered its condolences to the family.
Consternado por la muerte de Iván Illarramendi. Quiero trasladar mi afecto y mi más sincero pésame a su familia y amigos.
El Gobierno de España reitera su condena a los atentados terroristas de Hamás el 7 de octubre.
Debemos trabajar para alcanzar una paz justa y duradera en…
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) November 8, 2023
The Spanish government assured on October 17 that Illarramendi was among the hostages in Hamas’ possession and demanded his release, as well as that of the other kidnapped people. Days later, Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares received a delegation of five families of people believed to be detained in Gaza, including Illarramendi’s brother.
Another Spanish victim
Iván Illarramendi is the second Spaniard killed by Hamas. The first victim was 19-year-old Maya Villalobo, who was undergoing military training in Israel when the Islamist group’s militants invaded. Villalobo was performing mandatory military service in Israel when she died. She was an “observation soldier” at the Nahal-Oz base, facilities that were attacked by Hamas soldiers on October 7.