February 29th, 2024

Man believed taken hostage with Canadian wife by Hamas declared dead by kibbutz

By The Canadian Press on December 22, 2023.

In this undated photo released by Iris Weinstein Haggai, Judih Weinstein Haggai (left) and Gadi Hagi hold each other as they pose for a photo. An American Israeli man who was taken hostage with his Canadian wife by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attacks on southern Israel has reportedly been confirmed dead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Iris Weinstein Haggai via AP

An American Israeli man thought to have been taken hostage with his Canadian wife by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel has been declared dead.

Kibbutz Nir Oz has announced the death of 73-year-old Gad Haggai, saying it has been determined that he was killed there on Oct. 7 and his body was taken by Hamas into Gaza.

The dual citizen was married to 70-year-old Judih Weinstein Haggai, who holds U.S., Israeli and Canadian citizenships and is still believed to be among the remaining hostages.

Her family has said she was born in New York state and moved to Toronto when she was three years old before she settled in Israel 20 years later to live with her husband.

The family has said she and her husband were out for a walk when the Oct. 7 attacks began, and she sent a text message to members of her community saying that a militant on a motorcycle had shot her husband and she was less severely wounded.

The announcement from the kibbutz describes Haggai as a gifted wind instrument player and someone who was “connected to the earth, a chef and a follower of a healthy vegan diet and sports.”

– with files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2023.

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