US Citizen Reported Dead Following Hamas Attack

US Woman Believed To Be Dead After Hamas Attack

( – On October 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists launched a coordinated attack against Israel, killing about 1,200 and taking around 240 others hostage. According to The New York Times’ count on November 28, 2023, 85 of those people were released, but the rest remain captive. On December 22, CBS News reported that one person thought to be a hostage, 73-year-old Gadi Haggai, was actually killed in the initial attack. But that wasn’t the end of the family’s tragedy.

On December 28, 2023, the news outlet reported that Mr. Haggai’s wife, Judy Weinstein Haggai, was also killed in Kibbutz Nir Oz during the first Hamas strike. A spokesperson from the couple’s town confirmed the grim news, stating Mrs. Haggai was “fatally wounded” by Hamas gunmen. Judy Weinstein Haggai was an Israeli, American, and Canadian national living in Israel with her husband, teaching English to children with special needs.

The Kibbutz Nir Oz spokesperson said Hamas likely still has Mr. and Mrs. Haggai’s bodies in Gaza.

President Joe Biden released a statement after receiving the news on behalf of himself and First Lady Jill Biden. He said they were “devastated to learn” about the woman’s murder, stating the news “cuts deep” after the recent revelation that her husband was also killed in the Hamas attack. The Bidens send their condolences to the Haggai family and loved ones. Biden then vowed he would “not stop working to bring [all the hostages] home.”

The Haggais had family ties in New York, prompting Governor Kathy Hochul (D) to release a statement about Judith’s death. She said she was “heartbroken” to hear the news. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also responded to the tragedy. The legislator said the news was “devastating” and made a push to urgently bring the hostages home.

On December 27, 2023, NPR reported that Egypt drafted a proposal for an extended humanitarian cease-fire to stop the fighting, get more aid into Gaza, and initiate hostage exchanges. However, the outlet reported that a final deal is still likely far away.

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