Elderly Man First American To Die As Hamas Hostage, Israel Community Says
10/30/2023, Jerusalem, Israel. Religious Israelis look at posters of hostages from Kibbutz Nir-Oz near a hostages in the Jerusalem Municipality Square. The display was put on by survivors of Kibbutz Nir-Oz for the return of the abductees. The beds are meant to remind that the hostages were kidnapped from their beds, and others were murdered in them. 239 hostages are currently being held by Hamas. (Photo by Yahel Gazit / Middle East Images / Middle East Images via AFP) (Photo by YAHEL GAZIT/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images)
YAHEL GAZIT/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images

An Israeli-American man who was shot and taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7 is now dead, according to the community he was kidnapped from in Israel.

Kibbutz Nir Oz, a community in Israel that was one of the hardest hit during the October 7 attack, announced in a statement on Friday that Gadi Haggai, 73, was murdered. Haggai is the first known American to die while in Hamas captivity as a result of the October 7 attack, according to The Times Of Israel.

Haggai was on a walk with his wife, Judi Weinstein, 70, the morning of the attack. Both are believed to have sustained gunshot wounds before being taken captive and moved to Gaza. Weinstein is believed to still be a hostage of Hamas.

“We are filled with great sorrow by the murder of Gad Haggai, an American-Israeli citizen. He was a father of four, a grandfather of seven, and a member of his beloved kibbutz – Kibbutz Nir Oz. He will be remembered as a gifted man, with sharp intellect and a love for wind instruments – which he played since he was a young child,” Haggai’s family said in a statement, according to Haaretz. “He was a talented chef, and alongside his wife, Judi, he lived a healthy, active lifestyle. We mourn the loss of our father and grandfather, and we continue to hope and pray that his body will be returned to us and that Judi is still alive and we will be reunited soon.”

“We continue to urge our leaders to do everything they can to bring our parents home to us. This latest news of Gad’s death only reaffirms the urgency with which we need to bring all of the hostages home,” the statement continued.

Haggai and Weinstein attempted to take cover in a field on the day of the attack. Weinstein contacted a member of the kibbutz and said she and Haggai were shot – her in the arm and Haggai in the head – and that they needed help. An ambulance that attempted to reach the pair was attacked and never made it. The couple had not been seen since and were presumed to be captive in Gaza, according to the New York Post.


While the couple lived in Kibbutz Nir Oz, Haggai lived in the United States until about 30 years ago when they relocated to Israel. Haggai’s mother was from Manhattan and his father was from Detroit. Haggai is survived by four children and seven grandchildren.

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