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Home » US and Canada Missing and Dead in Israel Attack: A Musician, a Soldier, and a Father

US and Canada Missing and Dead in Israel Attack: A Musician, a Soldier, and a Father

by Eli Barker
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Deborah Matias and her husband Shlomi died protecting their son from gunmen who broke into their home. They are among 31 Americans and seven Canadians known to have been killed in the Hamas attacks.

“She was so full of life,” said her father, Ilan Troen in a BBC interview. “She could have become a doctor but she once said to me ‘Dad, I have to do music because it’s in my soul.”

His daughter, a 50-year-old musician from Missouri, and her husband fell on top of their 16-year-old son Rotem after their kibbutz near the border with Gaza came under attack.

They were shot and killed but the teenager lay hidden and injured for hours while his grandfather Ilan texted him reassurances.

Hamas has abducted more than 200 people, according to Israel, and a number of them are from North America. Two US nationals were released on 20 October – Natalie and Judith Raanan.

These are the stories of Americans and Canadians confirmed by the BBC or credibly reported as missing, or dead.


Itay Chen, 19, is serving with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and had elected to work at his base on the Gaza border last weekend to get time off for his brother’s upcoming bar mitzvah. On Saturday he told his family that base was under attack. They soon lost communication. “No one has been able to physically locate him – he is not in hospital, not on the deceased list,” his father Ruby Chen, who grew up in New York, said at a press conference, adding that Itay is considered Missing In Action.

Omer Neutra, 21, from Long Island in New York, also served with the Israel Defense Forces. His parents told the New York Times that he told them things seemed calm at first from his post in southern Israel. But they have not heard from him since the attack began and believe he was kidnapped by Hamas.

Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35, was last seen fighting off attackers at Kibbutz Nir Oz, where he lived with his pregnant wife and two daughters. He has not been heard from since. His father Jonathan. a professor at Hebrew University, is from Connecticut. He said there are only 160 known survivors out of the 400 people living at the kibbutz.

Hersh Goldberg-Polin23, from California, was at the Nova festival. Witnesses saw him loaded onto a truck by Hamas militants, his family told the Los Angeles Times. He was badly injured, the witnesses said. His parents told the Jerusalem Post they received two messages from him, reading “I love you” and “I’m sorry”. His phone was last located on the Gaza border. His family says that told them his arm was seriously injured and he was able to fashion a tourniquet.

Edan Alexander, 19, is an IDF soldier who recently graduated from Tenafly High School in New Jersey. The office of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said they believe he is classified as Missing in Action. He was serving with the Golani Brigade near the Gaza border.

Judith Weinstein Haggai, 70, was on a routine morning stroll with her husband on 7 October when Hamas missiles and gunfire ripped through the sky. Ms Haggai captured some of the scene in a short 40-second video and shared it in a group chat, her last contact with family. Ms Haggai’s daughter, Iris Weinstein Haggai, told the Times of Israel that her dad “was wounded really bad” but that paramedics had lost contact with her parents.

Short presentational grey line


Vivian Silver, 74, was a well-known Israeli-Canadian peace advocate who was thought to be missing for weeks but was later identified as deceased. Her home close to the Gaza border in kibbutz Be’eri was burned to the ground during the 7 October attack. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly described Ms Silver as a “lifelong advocate for peace”.

Vivian Silver in white T-shirt among bicycles
Image caption,Vivian Silver was a peace advocate living outside of Gaza who was originally believed to have been taken hostage.

Netta Epstein, 21, an Israeli-Canadian who jumped on a grenade to save his girlfriend. According to his family and friends, Hamas militants fired on and threw grenades into his apartment’s safehouse. When one landed near his girlfriend, he jumped on it. She survived and was rescued by Israeli soldiers later.

Roey Weiser, 21, served with the Israel Defense Forces and rushed to defend his military base in southern Israel with fellow soldiers when the attack started. “They managed to fend off a bunch of terrorists,” his mother Naomi told the BBC. “Roey even managed to kill one or two and then he died himself.” He had worked at the Kerem Shalom Gaza border crossing, where trucks entered the Gaza strip from Israel and Egypt, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Young man in uniform with beard giving thumbs up
Image caption,Roey Weiser was serving with the Israel Defense Forces

Laor Abramov, 20, is a New Jersey DJ who moved to Israel during the Covid pandemic. He was attending the Tribe of Nova music festival that was attacked and took refuge in a nearby bomb shelter. His parents told CBS News that he texted them, saying “I have to be quiet”. A few days later his father confirmed his death on Facebook.

Itay Glisko, 20, born in New Jersey who was serving in the IDF. His family says he fought for hours against the Hamas attack on his military base.

Ben Mizrachi, a 22-year-old from Vancouver, was attending the Nova music festival that turned deadly. He was remembered by an administrator at King David High School as a “caring big brother” who loved Israel.

Young man with beard and red shirt sitting at the shore, water in background
Image caption,Ben Mizrachi was from Vancouver

Lotan Abir, 24, was also attending the Nova festival, with two people he knew from a Utah group for young Jewish professionals. He moved to Utah less than a year ago, and was a DJ and musician, as well as handyman.

Adrienne Neta, 66, grew up in California. She was sitting on her front porch at the kibbutz where she lived when the attack began. She took shelter while on the phone with her two sons and daughter. “The terrorist barged into her home,” her son Nahal has said. “We heard a little bit of screaming and that was our last contact with her.” Israel’s government has confirmed her death, her family has told media outlets.

Alexandre Look, 33, of Montreal, was killed at the Nova festival. He made a video call to his mother, who could hear screaming in the background. He hid in a bunker with about 30 people and survivors told his parents that he used his body to barricade the entrance and shield them from the bullets.

Adi Vital-Kaploun, 33, a dual citizen of Canada and Israel, was killed in her home at Kibbutz-Holit, very close to the Israel-Gaza border. Her two children, said to be four months and four years old, survived. She had deep ties to Ottawa and the family released a statement confirming her death through the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, which did not provide details about how she died.

Man in black T-shirt at table across from woman in hat
Image caption,Hayim Katsman with his mother Hannah

Hayim Katsman, 32, who received his PhD from the University of Washington and specialised in Israeli studies, was also killed at Kibbutz-Holit. His mother, originally from Ohio, said on Facebook he was killed immediately in his home.

Daniel Ben Senior, 34, was born in Los Angeles and a dual citizen with the US and Israel. She worked with a group of event organisers at the Nova festival. Her father Jacob told CNN he was notified by authorities that she had been killed.

Vivian Silver, 74, was a well-known Israeli-Canadian peace advocate who was thought to be missing for weeks but was later identified as deceased. Her home close to the Gaza border in kibbutz Be’eri was burned to the ground during the 7 October attack. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly described Ms Silver as a “lifelong advocate for peace”.

Igal and Amit Wachs, brothers who were citizens of both the US and Israel. They were part of a village patrol in Israel and Igal’s ex-wife, Liat, who lives in Massachusetts, said she believed they had been called upon to fend off the attack.

Shir Geory, 22, another Canadian identified to have been killed in the attacks. She went missing from the music festival.

Tiferet Lapidot, 22, an Israeli woman with Canadian parents who is being counted among the Canadian dead. She disappeared from the Nova music festival and it had originally been believed she had been taken hostage.

Carmela Dan, 79, an Israeli-American grandmother who was born in Israel to an American father. She held Israeli, US and French citizenship. She and four other family members had gone missing from the Nir Oz kibbutz in southern Israel. Her death, along with that of her 12-year-old granddaughter, was confirmed by Israel on 19 October.

Short presentational grey line


President Biden released a photo of Judith and Natalie Raanan speaking with the US leader on the phone after their release
Image caption,US President Joe Biden released a photo of Judith and Natalie Raanan speaking with him on the phone after their release

Judith and Natalie Raanan, a mother and daughter from the Chicago area, were released by Hamas on 20 October after they were taken from the Nahal Oh kibbutz in southern Israel on the day of the attacks. They hid in a bunker when the attack started and neighbours said they saw Hamas militants escort both Judith, 59, and Natalie, 19, out of the house.

Source : BBC

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