Ruby Chen, a native of New York City, is seeking assistance from the Biden administration to locate his son, Itay Chen, a 19-year-old American-Israeli serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Itay Chen went missing during the Hamas attacks on October 7th.
Ruby Chen reported that his last communication with Itay, who was born in New York City, occurred on October 7th when Itay mentioned they were under attack. During the attack, Itay was stationed at the Gaza border. According to Ruby Chen, the IDF has classified Itay as “Missing in Action (MIA),” indicating that he has not been physically located, identified, or seen since October 7th. As Itay has not been listed as hospitalized or deceased, there is a belief that he is one of the approximately 150 individuals taken hostage by Hamas and held in the Gaza Strip.
In the event that Itay is indeed held as a hostage, Ruby urges that he should be recognized as a prisoner of war (POW) and afforded the protections stipulated by international law.
Ruby made an appeal to the Biden administration not to remain passive in the efforts to secure the release of American-Israeli hostages. He emphasized that the United States government possesses unique resources and approaches distinct from those of Israel’s government. Ruby Chen kindly implored President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make every effort to resolve the situation, ultimately reuniting the families involved.
As of now, Ruby mentioned that the U.S. government has not made any efforts to provide updates to the families of missing Americans. He expressed that it is a reasonable request to have a representative from the State Department keep the families informed.
As of October 12, it has been confirmed that 25 Americans lost their lives in the attacks, which have resulted in the tragic loss of over 1,200 Israeli lives. It is estimated that 18 Americans are still unaccounted for and might be held as hostages in Gaza.