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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - TEL AVIV — Gadi Haggai, a 73-year-old Israeli-American dual national and hostage who was kidnapped by Hamas from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, has died while being held captive in Gaza, the Missing Persons Families Forum said in a statement released Friday.
His body is still being held in Gaza, according to the Forum.
"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 statement said.
Haggai had been out on a walk on the morning of October 7 with his wife, Judi, when he was shot at and "critically Injured," it added.
His wife is still being held captive by Hamas.
"We share in the profound grief of the Haggai family," the statement added.
Meanwhile, the director of the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, a key border crossing between Israel and Gaza that was recently reopened for the entry of aid into the Palestinian enclave, was killed in an Israeli strike on Thursday, a Gazan border official told CNN.
Bassam Ghaben and three other employees were killed after being hit by an Israeli drone strike, the official said.
The Israeli military said on Friday that it “struck armed terrorists near” the crossing and that the incident is under review.
“The IDF attacked Hamas militants with weapons that came and approached to our border and to this crossing, period," Col. Moshe Tetro, a senior Israeli defense ministry official with responsibilities for Gaza, told CNN Friday.
He declined to answer, when pressed by CNN, on whether the reported militants presented an imminent threat. "I think that I gave a very clear answer. We attacked militants with weapons," he said.
Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, said on Thursday that delivery operations at the crossing were temporarily suspended after the reported strike and that the UN believes the aid deliveries have now resumed.
A CNN team on the ground on the Israeli side of the crossing witnessed aid trucks heading into Israel from Egypt and getting checked at Kerem Shalom — and appeared to be heading into Gaza. — CNN
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