Americans Edan Alexander, Itan Chen, and Omer Neutra are among those held hostage by Hamas after an October 7 attack near Gaza.

Who are Edan Alexander, Itan Chen and Omer Neutra? 

Edan Alexander’s Grandmother (x/@avivaklompas)

Edan Alexander, a 19-year-old lone soldier from Tenafly, New Jersey, serving in the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion, was captured by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. Born in Tel Aviv and raised in Tenafly, he joined Golani as a lone soldier after graduating high school in 2022.

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Itan Chen, 19, from Brooklyn, and Omer Neutra, 22, from Long Island, are also among the five Americans still held hostage by Hamas since the October 7 attack. The assault resulted in deaths, assaults, and kidnappings near the Gaza Strip.

Edan Alexander’s mother, Yael, spoke of her shock when Edan chose to join the army as a lone soldier instead of pursuing college like his peers in Tenafly. The family received the devastating news a week after losing contact with Edan, learning he was taken hostage to Gaza.

In a tragic list of those still held captive, alongside Alexander, Chen, and Neutra, are Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, from Virginia, and Sagui Dekel Chen, 35, from Connecticut.

Efforts to raise awareness and seek their release intensify, as a 30-second ad from the Hostages and Missing Families Forum is set to air in the U.S. The ad features images of the hostages, highlighting the urgency of their situation.

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Families of the hostages, grappling with the uncertainty and the loss of lives, hope the ad will maintain pressure on both U.S. and Israeli governments to accelerate efforts for their release. The ad emphasizes the plight of Americans held in Gaza, urging immediate action to prevent further harm to the hostages. The international community watches closely as families plead for the safe return of their loved ones amid ongoing diplomatic challenges.