Hayim Katsman, a renowned US scholar, was killed in the Hamas attack on Israel. He was hiding in a kibbutz closet when terrorists burst in.

Who is Hayim Katsman?

Hayim Katsman, one of the 11 Americans who were killed by the Hamas terrorists, received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies in 2021. He was a 32-year-old academic from Seattle.

Before his death, he was living in Holit, a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip border. He was working on research, during his time in Israel. Before moving to kibbutz, she lived in the city of Petah Tikva.

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Hanna Katsman, Hayim’s mother told ABC News that she initially thought he had been abducted. However, she later found out he had been killed by the terrorists early Saturday.

“I’ve been getting so many messages from people who worked with Hayim or who knew him, or who met him during their travels and how warm he was, how open,” she told the outlet. “He was a very accepting person and a very loyal friend. He had a good sense of humor. He took things in stride.”

Avital Alajem, a friend and neighbor was hiding with him in the closet when the terrorists broke in and shot him. She was unhurt in the attack. Speaking to CNN about the experience, she said that Hayim was the reason her life was saved. She was later kidnapped and taken to Gaza along with two children.

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She told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she and the kids were later released. “Hayim in Hebrew is life. That’s the meaning of his name. And he gave life to this planet as he saved me, and I was able to save two kids,” she said.

He was remembered Monday by his friends and professors at the University of Washington as an empathetic person.