Gadi Haggai, 73, first U.S. citizen confirmed killed in Hamas hostage situation

“A musician at heart, a gifted flautist, he played in the IDF Orchestra and was involved with music his whole life.”

Gadi Haggai, 73, first U.S. citizen confirmed killed in Hamas hostage situation
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A 73-year-old American-Israeli, Gadi Haggai, was confirmed as the first U.S. citizen to have died while hold hostage by Hamas.

The news was released on Friday, revealing that Haggai had significant ties to New York. It is suspected that the group is also holding his 70-year-old wife, Judi Weinstein. This information was provided by the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, an organization representing the families involved, the New York Post reports.

“Gadi was a man full of humor who knew how to make those around him laugh,” the families group told the Times of Israel. “A musician at heart, a gifted flautist, he played in the IDF Orchestra and was involved with music his whole life.”

On Friday, Kibbutz Nir Oz disclosed that the Israel Defense Forces had notified Haggai's family of his murder.

Currently, his remains are within Palestinian territory.

According to Haaretz, Weinstein reached out to a member of the kibbutz, seeking assistance. She reported being shot in the arm and sustaining facial injuries, while Gadi had suffered a gunshot wound to his head.

Weinstein also managed to send a text message to her daughter in Singapore. A paramedic subsequently informed the couple's children that Weinstein had requested medical aid, but communication with her was subsequently lost.

“She said they were shot by terrorists on a motorcycle and that my dad was wounded really bad,” Iris Weinstein Haggain told the Times of Israel.

“Paramedics tried to send her an ambulance. The ambulance got hit by a rocket.”

“We know that they were badly wounded. We know that [Weinstein] still had the phone with her to be able to call and ask for help and provide details. But ever since then, we lost all contact with them,” the couple’s niece stated last month.

Hours later, the Israeli military discovered the phone, sparking hope that the couple might have been part of the over 220 Israelis captured during the intense attack, rather than among the fatalities, as noted by Ofri.

In her quest to uncover the truth about her relatives' fate, Ofri, who works in Israel as a global human resources manager, traveled to her aunt's hometown in Orange County, New York. There, she sought assistance from local political figures.

The exact means through which officials confirmed his death during captivity remains uncertain, as Hamas representatives have not made any statements regarding the death reports.

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