American parents protest after Hamas holds son hostage
The parents of a kidnapped American-Israeli dual citizen have been protesting outside the US embassy in Israel, urging Joe Biden to take action after the Hamas attack. 19-year Itay Chen, a member of the Israel Defense Forces, was born in New York city. He is believed to be one of the many people abducted by Hamas militants, and being held captive in the Gaza Strip.
We are asking the president to do what he can in order to bring our kids back safely home," said Itay's father, Ruby Chen, according to USA Today. Supporters wore T-shirts that read “Help Find Itay” and held signs that read, “USA protects its citizens!", "Bring Itay Home Now," and "Help find Itay.
Itay serves in Israel's Armed Corps and was on the Gaza border during the attack. He was raised in New York, but Ruby moved his family to Israel later. Ruby and his wife Laity Chen went to the Lahav 433 centre for identifying missing persons after they were unable to get in touch with their son following the Hamas attack. His parents were officially notified that his status was Missing In Action - or MIA.
At least 11 Americans have reportedly been killed during the attacks over the weekend. The Biden administration has not confirmed how many Americans are being held hostage. "While we are still working to confirm, we believe it is likely that American citizens may be among those being held by Hamas," president Joe Biden said in a statement. "I have directed my team to work with their Israeli counterparts on every aspect of the hostage crisis."
Ruby, outside the US embassy in Israel, said that the US government must stand up for all Americans. “Kids need to know that the U.S. is behind all of its citizens,” he said.
“What about liberty, justice, and freedom for all?” Ruby asked. “Biden needs to step up for all children — all citizens deserve protection, and kids need to know that the United States is behind them 100%.”