Kidnapped US-Israeli Citizen Confirmed Dead

The Israeli military confirmed on March 12 that one of the American hostages believed to be held in Gaza was killed during the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, CNN reported.

Itay Chen, 19, who was a dual American-Israeli citizen, was one of six Americans believed to still be alive in Gaza.

However, the IDF announced on March 12 that Chen is one of at least four Americans whose bodies were taken into Gaza on October 7, along with Gad and Judih Haggai, and Aviv Atzili.

Chen, a soldier with the Israeli Defense Forces, was serving along the border with Gaza when Hamas terrorists stormed Israel on October 7.

Of the 130 hostages taken on October 7, 32 are believed to be dead.

In a March 12 statement from the White House, President Biden said he met with Chen’s father and brother at the White House in December and said no family should endure what the Chens had been through.

The president reaffirmed his pledge that the US would not stop working to bring the hostages home.

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum, the group representing the families of those taken hostage by Hamas, said it shared the Chen family’s “profound grief” over Itay’s death.

Itay’s father Ruby Chen told CBS News that he last heard from his son on the morning of October 7 when he texted that his base was under missile attack.

Hamas abducted nearly 250 people during the October 7 attacks. About 100 are still being held captive in Gaza.

Following a January meeting with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and other Biden officials, Ruby Chen blasted the administration for not doing more to get American hostages released, asking if the White House wanted “more dead US citizens.”

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, who invited Itay’s mother Hagit Chen to the president’s State of the Union address, said Hamas has been holding six Americans hostage for 150 days without paying a price for it. She said her heart broke for the Chen family who have experienced “an agony no parent should ever have to endure.”