Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces after stabbing attack

Jerusalem, Dec 28, 2023 Agence France Presse: A US-Israeli woman seized in the October 7 Hamas attack was killed on the same day and her body remains in the Gaza Strip, her kibbutz community said on Thursday.
Judith Weinstein Haggai, 70, had been thought to be the oldest woman among the hostages still held in Gaza by the Palestinian militant group.
Her kibbutz of Nir Oz said that Haggai was “murdered in the massacre,” and that her body remains in the war-torn Palestinian territory.
Thursday’s announcement by the community follows confirmation on December 23 that her husband, Gad Haggai, was also killed on October 7.
“The bodies of both are still in the custody of Hamas,” the community said, without elaborating.
The couple were among some 250 people taken hostage from Israeli border communities and military posts.
More than 100 of those abducted have since been freed, many exchanged for Palestinian prisoners.
Israel says 129 captives are still missing in Gaza, including 23 believed to have been killed.
Three hostages were mistakenly shot dead by soldiers in the Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli army.
“There are no words to describe the pain of losing our parents and grandparents to the massacre that took place on our kibbutz,” the family of Haggai said in a statement.
“We pray that their bodies… will be soon returned to us, and that their murders are a reminder for leaders everywhere to bring the hostages home now before it is too late.”
In Washington, President Joe Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden were “devastated” by the news.
The slain couple’s family has been “living through hell for weeks,” he said, pledging that the United States will “not stop working to bring” remaining hostages home.
Ahl Haggai, the couple’s son, has said that in a final phone call on October 7, his mother had told a paramedic that she and her husband had both been wounded.
“The only evidence we have… is a video of my dad on the back of a truck, laying down injured,” he told AFP earlier this month.
“She’s nowhere to be found,” he said, with only his mother’s glasses recovered from the kibbutz.
Israelis have held frequent rallies to highlight the plight of the remaining hostages and put pressure on the authorities to secure their release, with hundreds marching to parliament on Thursday.
“Bring them home!” they chanted outside the assembly in Jerusalem, an AFP journalist reported.
“All I can hope is that as many people (as possible) will remain alive,” Nikki Littman, 55, who took part in the rally, told AFP.
“I don’t trust the government. I don’t trust Hamas. I fear Hamas. I fear our existence here,” said Littman, who teaches Japanese at a university.
The October 7 Hamas attack resulted in the deaths of around 1,140 people in Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on the latest official Israeli figures.
Israel’s relentless offensive on Gaza has since killed 21,320 people, mostly civilians, according to the latest toll from the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

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