A U.S.-Israeli hostage who is married to a Canadian woman has died in captivity in the Gaza Strip, after he was kidnapped by Hamas, according to a group representing hostages’ families.

Gadi Haggai and his Canadian-Israeli wife Judih Weinstein were shot near the Gaza border when Hamas militants invaded Israel in a surprise attack on Oct. 7, killing approximately 1,200 people and taking an estimated 240 people captive.

judih weinstein

Hamas is still holding Weinstein hostage, the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, which was formed by the families of Israelis kidnapped, said on Friday.

Weinstein was born in the United States and her family moved to Toronto when she was three years old. Around the age of 20, she landed in the same kibbutz as Haggai in Israel.

The couple, both in their seventies, had lived on Kibbutz Nir Oz in the southern Israel desert since 1995, both heavily into mindfulness, plant-based diets and daily morning walks, their daughter previously told CTV News.

They were on one of their early morning walks near the kibbutz when Hamas fired rockets into Israel.

That day, Haggai called the kibbutz paramedic, saying she’d been shot and her husband was badly wounded, her daughter told CTV News after the invasion.

I can’t believe this is reality,” their daughter Iris Haggai Liniado said at the time.

Of the 240 people kidnapped, an estimated 129 hostages are believed to remain in Hamas captivity, though roughly 20 are believed to have died, according to Associated Press reports.

Hamas freed over 100 innocent people in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners in a ceasefire swap last month. 

In response to Hamas’ October attack, Israel launched an ongoing campaign of airstrikes and ground operations in Gaza. The Hamas-run health ministry said Friday that the death toll has now exceeded 20,000, which amounts to around one per cent of the territory's prewar population. 

judih weinstein

Weinstein and Haggai’s family has struggled to collect information ever since the kidnapping almost three months ago.

The question is what condition [Judih] is in, whether she’s alive or dead, we actually don’t know,” their niece Ali Weinstein told CTV National News on Nov. 30.

“We just want to be able to welcome her home and hug her. With each day that her name has not been on the list of hostages coming home, it’s like getting the news again that she's missing,” she said.