Audio Posts In English

Kidnapped 80-year-old Israeli-American, granddaughter dead: Family

Listen to this article

(NewsNation) — An 80-year-old Israeli-American and her 13-year-old granddaughter, who were being held hostage by Hamas, have been found dead, CNN reported Thursday.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the deaths of Carmela Dan and Noya Dan to family Wednesday, relative Jason Greenberg told CNN.

“Their bodies are being returned to their families for burial at this moment,” he said.

According to CNN, Carmela Dan had Israeli, U.S. and French citizenship, and her granddaughter, Noya Dan, was an Israeli citizen. The State of Israel also confirmed the news on X.

Another family member told CNN’s Dana Bash that Carmela had heart problems and that Noya was on the autism spectrum.

Abbey Onn, an American living in Israel, spoke with “On Balance” host Leland Vittert early last week about five of her family members, which included Carmela and Noya, who were all being held hostage and that they were “scared for their lives.”

Onn said she lost contact with the family members Saturday after messaging with them.

“We woke up Saturday, like everyone else in Israel, to sirens, and we thought that it was the regular, you know, run of the mill war. We have family in the center and the north and the south, and so we all started speaking on WhatsApp. We quickly understood that our family … in a kibbutz close to Gaza, had been infiltrated by Hamas,” Onn said. “And we were getting text messages that they were in the house and that they could hear gunfire, and that they were scared for their lives.”

Onn says she then watched footage posted online that shows her 12-year-old cousin being abducted.

“We have video of Erez, who is 12, in the hands of Hamas,” Onn told Vittert, later adding: “I have three children the same age as these children who were kidnapped, and it’s a parent’s worst nightmare.”

Onn identified her other missing family members as Ofer Kalderon, Sahar Kladeron and Erez Kalderon.

“(To) my family. I want them to know that we love them, and we’re doing anything we can to get them safely returned,” Onn said. “And to the kidnappers and anyone else who can understand this, I want them to think of their own family, of their mother and their father and their sister and their brother and their grandmother, and think what that would be (like) if they were in the hands of terrorists. It’s horrifying.”

President Joe Biden told the nation Thursday night it is “vital for America’s national security” to provide aid to Israel and Ukraine for their wars to stand up to dictators and promote stability across the world.

Drawing parallels between the two conflicts, Biden said if international aggression goes unchecked, “the risk of conflict and chaos could spread in other parts of the world.”

“Hamas and Putin represent different threats,” Biden said in an Oval Office address. “But they share this in common: They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy.”

NewsNation has reached out to Jason Greenberg for more information.

NewsNation’s Caitlyn Shelton and Sean Noone contributed to this report.