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American woman allegedly held hostage by Hamas killed in October 7 attack, spokesperson says

A 70-year-old woman, an American citizen, who was allegedly taken to Gaza as a hostage by Hamas on October 7, was actually killed in the initial attack, according to a statement released Thursday by the kibbutz from which she was taken. removed.

Judith Weinstein Haggai, who was an Israeli, American and Canadian national, was fired upon during the attack on Kibbutz Nir Oz with her husband, Gadi Haggai, 72, a dual American-Israeli national. Both were thought to have been taken hostage, but Last week, Israeli officials said they had confirmed The death of Gadi Haggai.

According to a spokesperson for Kibbutz Nir Ozwhere the couple lived, Judy Weinstein Haggai was also “fatally wounded” by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack.

The two bodies are still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza, the spokesperson said.

Judith Weinstein Haggi and Gadi Haggai.

Forum for Families of Hostages and Missing Persons

The statement said Weinstein Haggai was a mother of four and grandmother of seven who taught English to children with special needs, and described her as a poet and entrepreneur who “led numerous initiatives to advance peace in the region.

Weinstein Haggai had family ties to the New York area. Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted: “Heartbroken to learn that Judith Weinstein was killed in the October 7 attack. My heart goes out to her family overseas and to those still here in New York. May her memory be a blessing and that the many hostages still in captivity be returned home safely.”

Senator Chuck Schumer called the news “devastating.” “I am grieving and praying for them. We must continue working to bring the hostages home. We cannot wait,” he said. wrote.

That of the couple daughter, Iris, told CBS News At the end of November, she saw a video proving that her father had been killed and said at that time that she had not heard anything about her mother.

“The hostages who were released didn’t see her. They didn’t hear about her,” she told CBS News, as dozens of hostages were freed as part of A temporary ceasefire. “I have no proof of life for my mother. Nothing.”

Israel said around 250 people were taken hostage by Hamas and other militants who rampaged through communities in southern Israel near the border with Gaza on October 7, killing around 1,200 people, for most civilians. Israel pledged to eliminate Hamas and responded with a major military attack on Gaza, which continues and has killed at least 21,000 people in the territory, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health.

A temporary ceasefire in November led to the release of 105 hostages – Israelis as well as some foreigners – in exchange for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. According to Israeli authorities, around 129 people are still being held hostage in Gaza.

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