Gadi Haggai, 73, is the first American to die in Hamas captivity, according to the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum. Haggai was a dual American-Israeli citizen.

“Gadi was a man full of humor who knew how to make those around him laugh. A musician at heart, a gifted flautist, he played in the IDF Orchestra and was involved with music his whole life,” the forum said in a statement.

He is survived by four children, seven grandchildren, and his wife, American citizen Judi Weinstein, 70, who still remains in Hamas captivity.

Hamas abducted the couple from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7. Haggai and Weinstein were out for a morning walk when terrorists struck. Weinstein called a kibbutz member for help shortly after Hamas began its attack, to say that she had been shot in the arm, and that Haggai had been shot in the head. The couple’s family and community have not heard from them since.

“We know that they were badly wounded. We know that [Weinstein] still had the phone with her to be able to call and ask for help and provide details. But ever since then, we lost all contact with them,” Ofri Haggai, the couple’s niece, said last month.

When the Israeli Defense Forces found Weinstein’s phone, they suspected that the couple had been taken hostage by Hamas, instead of murdered in the initial onslaught.

Haggai’s body is now being held by terrorists in Gaza.

More than 120 people are still hostages in Gaza, and the Israeli military expects that at least 21 of them are dead. Although Israel negotiated the release of more than 100 hostages last month in exchange for a week-long truce, Hamas leaders said this week that they would not comply with further hostage deals without “a total ceasefire and a retreat of the Israeli occupation army from the Gaza Strip.”

“There is a Palestinian national decision that there should be no talk about prisoners or exchange deals except after a full cessation of aggression,” Hamas said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Hamas rejected a hostage deal that would have released 40 hostages, including the remaining 19 women and two children held in Gaza, in exchange for a week-long pause in fighting. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this week that he “will spare no effort” in bringing the hostages home.

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Gadi Haggai Confirmed as First American Hostage to Die in Hamas Captivity

Haggai was kidnapped with his wife, who remains in Hamas ... READ MORE

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