U.S.-Israeli Citizen Itay Chen Was Killed in Oct. 7 Attack, Parents Say

Itay Chen, a 19-year-old U.S. and Israeli citizen thought to have been a taken hostage on Oct. 7 was in fact killed that day, his parents said on Tuesday.

The couple, Ruby and Hagit Chen, said that the Israeli military told them that it had intelligence indicating that their son, a service member, was killed while defending civilians on the border of Gaza during the Hamas-led invasion.

“Our hearts are broken,” the Chens said in a statement. “We loved him so much, and we would have done anything to bring him home alive.”

In an interview with The Times earlier this year, Itay’s father, Ruby Chen, described the young man as the “life of the party” and the “connector” of their family. A middle child, Mr. Chen said, Itay was multitalented and fun-loving, a Boy Scout who, played basketball and, like many young people, loved his PlayStation.

Itay grew up in Israel, in the city of Netanya, just north of Tel Aviv, but his father said the family would frequently visit his own hometown, New York.

“I want to take him back to Coney Island,” he said. “I want to take him back to Madison Square Garden.”

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