March 12, 2024 | Flash Brief

Another Israeli-U.S. National Killed by Hamas

March 12, 2024 | Flash Brief

Another Israeli-U.S. National Killed by Hamas

Latest Developments

An Israeli soldier with dual U.S. citizenship was declared dead in absentia on March 12, more than five months after Hamas killed him and took his body to Gaza along with scores of hostages. Sgt. Itay Chen, 19, had been presumed to have been captured by the Palestinian cross-border infiltrators on October 7, and his parents, Ruby and Hagit, spearheaded an international campaign to raise awareness about the hostage crisis. The Israeli military’s announcement of Chen’s death described him as a fallen soldier whose body was being held by a terrorist organization. It offered no more details.

Using a variety of data including intelligence tip-offs, forensic evidence from the battlefield, public domain video footage, and the testimony of freed hostages, Israel has declared 34 of the remaining 134 Gaza hostages dead in absentia. Among the 253 people seized by Hamas on October 7, six were dual U.S.-Israeli nationals. Three have been declared dead by Israel.

Expert Analysis

“President Biden has repeatedly pledged to work to bring the hostages home. That some are American citizens, and therefore his shared responsibility, was never lost on him. Now, half of them are dead, and the fates of the others are still unknown. Some soul-searching is due in the White House about whether enough pressure has been exerted on Qatar and Egypt, the U.S. regional partners negotiating with Hamas, to get a hostage release.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Many of Israel’s combat soldiers went to battle in Gaza with the hope of bringing hostages back to their families. While the nightmare continues for the hostages and their families, the IDF and the Israeli people are still deeply committed to doing everything necessary to bring their people home. Discouraging words from Washington or Hollywood will not cause the Jewish state to waiver in its determination to complete the mission.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Mossad, CIA Chiefs Meet About Stalled Hostage Talks,” FDD Flash Brief

Cairo Truce Talks Falter as Hamas Stalls,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Demands Clarity from Hamas on Hostages,” FDD Flash Brief


Israel Israel at War