The Israeli government has confirmed that a Toronto woman was taken hostage by Hamas after she went missing, following the Oct. 7 attack.
On Tuesday, the Israeli government contacted Iris Haggai in Singapore to inform her that her parents had been kidnapped by Hamas.
Judih Weinstein, 70, and Gad Haggai, 72, were walking close by Kibbutz Nir Oz in Southern Israel when they were forced to take cover in a field while Hamas launched rockets during the Oct. 7 attack.
In an interview with CTV News Toronto, Haggai said that Israeli paramedics informed her that her mother had called for help, saying that she had been shot and that her husband, Gad, was extremely wounded.
That had been the last information Haggai had received about her parents until their cell phones were later tracked to Gaza.
Haggai said it’s time for the Canadian government to do more to pressure the Israeli government to negotiate.
“At the end of the day, it’s Israeli soil… but there is always something that can be done, especially when there are Canadian citizens involved,” Haggai told CTV from Singapore, where she lives with her husband and three children.
Her mother, Judith, was born in America but emigrated to Toronto with her family when she was three years old. She was living in Southern Israel as a retired school teacher.
Haggai said that she received a phone call from U.S. President Joe Biden, who assured her that his government was doing everything they could to make her mother’s safety a priority.
Almost 200 people have been taken hostage by Hamas since the attack began, according to the Israeli government.
Foreign Minister Melanie Joly confirmed that at least six Canadians have been killed since Oct. 7 and two more citizens remain missing.
Hamas was declared a terrorist organization by the Government of Canada in 2002.