A 70-year-old American citizen believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas to Gaza on October 7 was actually killed during the initial attack, it said.
Judith Weinstein Haggai, an Israeli, American and Canadian national, set herself ablaze in the attack on Kibbutz Nir Oz along with her husband, Gadi Haggai, 72, an American-Israeli dual national. Both were believed to have been taken hostage, butDeath of Kady Hagai.
According to a spokespersonJudy Weinstein Hakkai, where the couple lived, was “seriously wounded” by Hamas gunmen in an October 7 attack.
The spokesman said the bodies of the two are still believed to be in the possession of Hamas in Gaza.
Weinstein described Hakkai as a mother of four and grandmother of seven who taught English to children with special needs and was a poet and entrepreneur who “pursues many efforts to promote peace in the region.”
In a statement released by the White House, President Biden said:
“Jill and I are devastated to learn that American Judy Weinstein is also believed to have been killed by Hamas on October 7th. This tragic development cuts deep on the heels of last week's news that Judy's beloved husband, Gad Hakkai, is believed to have been killed by Hamas. We are Judy and Gad's four children and seven grandchildren. and other loved ones close to our hearts. I will never forget what their daughter and family members of other Americans held hostage in Gaza shared. I, they have been living through weeks of hell. No family should have to endure such an ordeal. I reaffirm our commitment to all families still held hostage. : We will not stop bringing them home.”
Weinstein Hakkai has family ties to the New York area. Governor Kathy Hochul Tweeted: “Heartbroken to learn that Judith Weinstein was killed during the October 7 attacks. My heart goes out to her family abroad and to those in New York. May her memory be blessed, and may the many hostages who were held captive be brought home safely.”
Senator Chuck Schumer called the news “devastating.” “I mourn and pray for them. We must continue to work to bring the hostages home. We cannot wait,” he said. wrote.
of the coupleIn late November, he said he saw video evidence of his father's killing and had no information about his mother at the time.
“The freed hostages didn't see her. They didn't hear about her,” he told CBS News, adding that dozens of hostages were partially freed.. “I have no proof of my mother's life. Nothing.”
Israel said about 250 people were taken hostage by Hamas and other militants who swept through communities in southern Israel near the Gaza border on October 7, killing 1,200, mostly civilians. Israel vowed to destroy Hamas and retaliated with a major military assault on Gaza.in the territory, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
A temporary ceasefire in November led to the release of 105 hostages – Israelis and some foreigners – in exchange for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. According to Israeli officials, 129 people are still being held hostage in Gaza.