Dual U.S.-Israeli Citizen Died In Oct. 7 Attack

A 19-year-old Israeli soldier with dual Israeli-U.S. nationality died on Oct. 7 during Hamas’ attack on Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces confirmed on Tuesday. Itay Chen, who was serving his first year with the IDF, had reportedly gone missing during Hamas’ incursion into Israel and was believed to have been taken by the terrorists alongside over 200 other hostages.

However, the IDF has now found that he died that day and was not one of the six American men or the four U.S.-Israeli dual citizens thought to have been taken hostage by Hamas.

In a statement on Tuesday, the IDF described Chen as “a fighter in the 75th Battalion, an assault formation from the Golan, an IDF soldier kidnapped by a terrorist organization.”

Thinking that he had been taken hostage, Chen’s father, Ruby Chen, and brother joined President Joe Biden at the White House in December “to share the agony and uncertainty they’ve faced as they prayed for the safe return of their loved on,” as Biden recalled in a statement mourning Chen’s passing.

“Our hearts are heavy. Jill and I are devastated to learn that American Itay Chen was killed by Hamas during its brutal terrorist assault on October 7,” he wrote.

“No one should have to endure even one day of what they have gone through,” Biden added.

Shortly after the Oct. 7 attack, Ruby told CBS News that he had spoken with his son on the morning of Oct. 7 when Hamas began their attack.

“He was at his military base, which was on the border of Gaza. The last communication we had with him was Saturday morning, when he sent us a message saying they are under missile attack. We know he was able to mobilize himself to be active in the field. But ever since, we do not know what are his origins,” he said.

Still under the assumption that he had been held hostage, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) tried to speak to the pain of Ruby and his wife Hagit Chen, who she invited to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address last week.

“For over 150 days, Iran-backed Hamas has held hostage six of our citizens, including Hagit Chen’s son Itay, but these terrorists have not paid a price. My heart breaks for Hagit and her husband Ruby, who are experiencing an agony no parent should ever have to endure,” she said.

After learning of the sergeant’s passing, she took to X to express her sadness over the family’s loss.

“This morning, I learned American Itay Chen was killed at the hands of brutal Hamas terrorists. My heart aches for his family who has been waiting, desperate for answers. His story will not go unheard,” she tweeted.

Per CBS News, Hamas is still holding Chen’s body.

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