WALTHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - A Brandeis University professor’s daughter and son-in-law were among those killed in Israel after Hamas militants launched a series of attacks that has since turned into all-out war.
The university confirmed on Sunday that family members of Ilan Troen, a Professor Emeritus of Israel Studies, had been killed in the conflict.
“We at Brandeis are deeply saddened to learn that Professor Troen has lost his daughter and son-in-law in the tragic events that are currently taking place in Israel,” Brandeis University President Ron Liebowitz stated. “Ilan, a Brandeis alumnus, and his family have long been treasured members of the Brandeis community, and we hold Ilan, his wife Carol, and his entire family in our thoughts. We condemn in the strongest way terrorism such as we have seen today perpetrated against innocent civilians and what has amounted to a multi-pronged war launched by Hamas.”
In an interview with NPR, Troen said, “My daughter and son-in-law were killed today … In their dying they saved (my grandson’s) life. They fell at his body, they were all together in the secure room and they covered his body and he was saved. Nevertheless a bullet penetrated them and went into his abdomen.”
Troen went on to speak with CNN on Monday, where he described how his daughter had been on the phone with him when she was killed.
Expressing anger, the professor called the attack a human rights outrage.
“This attack was rehearsed, well-rehearsed, well-planned, carried out and you look at what they’re doing – they’re taking hostages, from infants to senior citizens, people older than I am, denying them their rights,” he said.
Hundreds were killed when attacks by Hamas fighters were launched Saturday, including 260 people at a music festival near the Gaza border.
In addition to thousands wounded, as of Monday, the Associated Press reported an estimated 700 people, including 73 soldiers, were killed in Israel and that an estimated 493 people were killed in Gaza.
The latest numbers came after the Israeli government ramped up its response to the attacks over the weekend, including airstrikes.
Within 24 hours of the surprise attacks, Israel’s security cabinet formally declared war against Hamas, with thousands of reservists called up beforehand and as Israel Defense Forces continued to clear Hamas fighters from towns in the country’s south.
More coverage on the attacks on Israel can be found here.
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