American-Israeli missing since Hamas attack declared dead

December 29, 2023 by Etgar Lefkovits
Read on for article

A 70-year-old American-Israeli teacher who was shot by Hamas terrorists when out for a walk with her husband at their kibbutz on the morning of Oct. 7 has been declared dead, her community announced Thursday.

Judi Weinstein Haggai with her husband, Gad. Photo courtesy the family

Judi Weinstein Haggai’s body is being held by Hamas in Gaza, along with that of her husband, Gad Haggai, who was fatally wounded in the attack.

The couple, both nature and sports enthusiasts, were out on their regular sunrise walk at Kibbutz Nir Oz when Hamas terrorists rained thousands of missiles on Israel and stormed the border.

After lying on the ground when the air raid siren sounded, Judi began texting with her daughter on WhatsApp and then connected with emergency officials to report that her husband had been gravely wounded.

“They came on the street. There were many motorcyclists with automatic weapons. They shot us. We laid down. They shot me in the face and hand,” she told the Magen David Adom emergency service.

“They shot you too?” the dispatcher asks.

“Yes, I’m hurt.”

“Where did they shoot you?”

“They shot me in the face and hand,” Judi repeats.

The ambulance dispatched to them never made it—it was hit by gunfire and then burned.

“She just happened to be on this walk,” Judi’s cousin Ariel Duckler Levy told the Tazpit Press Service earlier this month. “She was in such good shape.”

The New York native, who spent her childhood in Toronto, moved to Israel more than four decades ago. A mother of four and grandmother of seven, she taught English for decades in the Western Negev, and would use music, art, dance and puppets in her classes.

Released captives Judi’s daughter met upon their return to Israel said they didn’t see her in Gaza.

On Thursday, she was confirmed to be dead.

“She was a poet and an entrepreneur who loved to create and was dedicated to working for peace and friendship,” Kibbutz Nir Oz said in a statement.

Around 100 of Kibbutz Nir Oz’s members were killed or taken captive on October 7.

At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border. The number of men, women, children, soldiers and foreigners held captive in Gaza by Hamas is now believed to be 129. Other people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.