Israeli-American Judith Weinstein confirmed murdered on Oct. 7, body held in Gaza

Weinstein was killed alongside husband Gadi Haggai while out for morning walk on day of massacre, Kibbutz Nir Oz says; Biden says he is ‘devastated’ by the news

This undated photo shows Judith Weinstein and Gad Haggai. They were killed by Hamas terrorists at Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023. (Iris Weinstein Haggai via AP)
This undated photo shows Judith Weinstein and Gad Haggai. They were killed by Hamas terrorists at Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023. (Iris Weinstein Haggai via AP)

Kibbutz Nir Oz announced on Thursday that its resident, Judith Weinstein Haggai — previously believed held hostage — was murdered during Hamas’s October 7 terror onslaught and her body is being held in Gaza.

The development came less than a week after the kibbutz announced that Judih’s husband, Gadi Haggai, initially thought to be held hostage, was also killed during the events of October 7. His body is still being held by Hamas.

In response to the news, US President Joe Biden issued a statement saying that “Jill and I are devastated to learn” of her death.

“This tragic development cuts deep, coming on the heels of last week’s news that Judy’s beloved husband, Gad Haggai, is believed to have been killed by Hamas,” he continued. “We are holding Judy and Gad’s four children, seven grandchildren, and other loved ones close to our hearts.”

Biden added: “I will never forget what their daughter, and the family members of other Americans held hostage in Gaza, have shared with me. They have been living through hell for weeks. No family should have to endure such an ordeal.”

Haggai and Weinstein, both dual Israeli-American citizens, were on their morning walk when gunfire erupted and missiles streaked across the sky on October 7.

Taking cover in a field, they could hear a recorded voice from an alert system for their kibbutz in southern Israel.

“What did she say?” Weinstein asked in Hebrew as she captured the scene on video.

“Red alert,” her 72-year-old husband said, referring to the warning for incoming rocket fire.

In this undated, unknown location photo released by Iris Weinstein Haggai, Judith Weinstein sits with Gad Haggai as they pose for a photo. (Iris Weinstein Haggai via AP)

Weinstein shared the 40-second video clip in a group chat that morning, when Hamas invaded Nir Oz during its terror onslaught, in the couple’s last contact with their family.

Weinstein was a longtime member of Nir Oz along with her husband. She was a mother of four and grandmother to seven, and is also survived by her 95-year-old mother.

She was an English teacher who worked with children with special needs, and also used meditation and mindfulness techniques to treat children suffering from anxiety caused by years of rocket fire that have plagued residents of the Gaza border area.

“She was a poet and an entrepreneur who loved to create and was dedicated to working for peace and friendship,” the kibbutz’s statement read.

The couple are among the eight US citizens and Green Card holders still in Gaza.

After Gadi was confirmed dead last week, Biden issued a statement saying he was “heartbroken by the news,” and that he was praying “for the well-being and safe return of his wife, Judy.”

War erupted on October 7 after approximately 3,000 Hamas terrorists stormed into Israel on October 7, massacring some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and capturing approximately 240 other Israelis and foreigners.

In response, Israel launched a military offensive aimed at toppling Hamas’s rule in Gaza, which has ruled there since 2007.

It is believed that 129 hostages kidnapped on October 7 remain in Gaza — including 22 bodies — after 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity during a weeklong truce in late November. Four hostages were released prior to that, and one was rescued by troops.

The bodies of 11 hostages have also been recovered, including three hostages who were mistakenly shot dead by IDF troops. Hamas is also holding the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin since 2014, as well as two Israeli civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are both thought to be alive after entering the Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

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