May 22, 2024

A German-Israeli man who was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip has been declared dead.

“It is devastating to learn that our fellow German Itay Chen, whom we had hoped to be still alive, is dead after all,” the German ambassador to Israel, Steffen Seibert, wrote on the X platform, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday.

“Killed by Hamas on [October 7] at age 19, his body abducted into Gaza,” Seibert added. “My heart goes out to his family who fought so tirelessly for his release.”

The Israeli army reported the death of Chen, a soldier from the coastal town of Netanya, on Tuesday, but without mentioning his other nationalities. According to media reports, Chen was also an American citizen.

Israeli reports indicate that unspecified intelligence concluded that the 19-year-old was killed.

“Our hearts are broken. We loved him so much and would have done anything to bring him home alive,” his parents said, according to Israeli media.

On October 7, militant from the Palestinian organization Hamas and other extremist groups abducted about 250 people to the Gaza Strip as part of a massacre in Israel.

During a ceasefire in late November, 105 hostages were released. According to government figures, around 100 hostages are believed to still be alive.

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