When Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7, they seized numerous hostages and brought them to Gaza. Among those taken were American citizens. Regrettably, on October 19, Israel’s military made an announcement on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, confirming the passing of Carmela Dan. She was an 80-year-old American citizen who had been taken by Hamas insurgents in southern Israel. Tragically, her 12-year-old granddaughter Noya was also abducted and tragically lost her life.
In the message shared on X, military authorities expressed their profound sorrow and expressed gratitude to all those who shared their narratives and contributed to their safe return.
We are devastated to announce that Noya and her grandmother Carmela’s bodies were discovered yesterday.— Israel ישראל 🇮🇱 (@Israel) October 19, 2023
Thank you to all of you who shared her story to help us bring her home.
Our hearts are broken 💔. https://t.co/1I9r4fibsP
Carmela Dan was among the 13 Americans who were captured during the terrorist assaults. She is the initial one for whom official confirmation of her demise has been made. The bodies of the grandmother and granddaughter were found in close proximity to the Israel-Gaza border.
At the time of their abduction, they were accompanied by Noya’s father and siblings, who were also taken. Ofer Kalderon, aged 50, Erez Kalderon, aged 12, and Sahar Kalderon, aged 16, are still unaccounted for, and their fates remain uncertain.
On October 18, President Joe Biden journeyed to Israel for a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While addressing the media, he mentioned that he couldn’t disclose all the specifics publicly but emphasized that there is nothing more important than ensuring the liberation and secure return of every American held captive.
While the nation grieved the loss of Carmen and her granddaughter, there was a glimmer of hope. Just two days following President Biden’s meeting with Israel, Hamas militants released Judith Tai Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan. These two women, who hail from Chicago, were held captive while visiting their relatives in southern Israel.
They were transferred to the Red Cross upon their release. Reports suggest that Hamas released them on humanitarian grounds, primarily due to Judith’s deteriorating health. The negotiations for their release were purportedly led by Qatar. However, it’s important to note that there are still 11 Americans whose whereabouts remain unknown.