Israeli soldiers have recovered the bodies of Noya Dan, a 12 year-old Harry Potter fan, and her grandmother, Carmela Dan, after they were kidnapped and held hostage in Gaza by Palestinian terrorists.
“We are devastated to announce that Noya and her grandmother Carmela’s bodies were discovered yesterday. Thank you to all of you who shared her story to help us bring her home,” the Israeli government said on its official X (formerly Twitter) account on Thursday.
The Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported that Noya Dan’s family had been notified of her death, along with her grandmother, after they had been among the around 200 Israelis believed to be held hostage in Gaza after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in southern Israel.
Noya Dan and four other family members are reported to have been kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz in southern Israel after the settlement was overrun by Hamas terrorists as part of a cross-border strike from Gaza. The 12-year-old, who has autism, had been visiting her grandmother who lived on the settlement near Israel’s border with Gaza.
On Oct. 15, the Israeli government via its social media account appealed to J.K. Rowling to “help us get her story out?” The post shared a photo of Noya Dan dressed in a Harry Potter-like costume and clutching a Hebrew version of a Harry Potter book.
“This beautiful 12 year old girl with autism was kidnapped from her home by Hamas terrorists and was taken to Gaza. Noya, is sensitive, kind, funny and a massive Harry Potter fan,” the post added. Rowling did release her own X post condemning the taking of hostages and calling for their safe return to their families.
“Kidnapping children is despicable and wholly unjustifiable. For obvious reasons, this picture has hit home with me. May Noya and all hostages taken by Hamas be returned soon, safely, to their families,” the Harry Potter franchise creator wrote.
But on Thursday, the Israeli government returned to its X account to confirm the deaths of Noya Dan and her grandmother after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in southern Israel.