Israeli-American Hostage Judi Weinstein Haggai Declared Dead

( – Judi Weinstein Haggai, a 70-year-old with Israeli, American, and Canadian citizenship, has been confirmed dead following the Hamas raids on Israel on October 7th. Haggai is believed to have been taken hostage by her terrorist attackers along with her husband, 73-year-old Gad Haggai, who was confirmed dead on Friday December 22nd. Hamas still has both bodies in Gaza.

The couple were both keen nature and fitness enthusiasts, known to take regular sunrise walks around their home of Kibbutz Nir Oz, where they had lived since the 1990’s. On October 7th, they were both shot by Hamas terrorists on motorcycles, with Gad suffering serious injuries immediately, and Judi shot in the face and hand. Judi managed to make contact with emergency services and family to tell them what had happened as she lay on the ground with her husband, attempting to shield themselves from further attacks. An ambulance was dispatched to their location but was destroyed by a Hamas rocket before it could reach them.

Judi, a grandmother of seven, was confirmed dead in a statement by The White House on December 28th. Born in New York, her family moved to Toronto when she was just three years old. As an adult, she moved to Israel and settled in Kibbutz Nir Oz, close to the Gaza border, with her husband and went on to have two daughters and two sons. She worked as an English teacher, specializing in teaching those with special needs, and she had also taught mindfulness to children left suffering with anxiety as a result of rockets so often being fired near Gaza. Her brother Larry Weinstein described Judi, who had previously volunteered to help Gazans, as a woman who “believed in peace”.

President Biden described the family’s ordeal as “hell” and said that news of Judi’s death “[cut] deep”. He reaffirmed the U.S.’s commitment to assisting in the efforts to secure the remaining hostages’ release from Hamas captivity.

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