On Saturday, the world was shocked and saddened by the news of a Boston college professor's daughter and son-in-law being among those killed in Israel after a series of fierce attacks from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Professor Ilan Troen, 83, had recently retired from his role at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and moved to Israel to be with his family. It was a decision that would ultimately result in tragedy.
According to Troen, his daughter Debbie Shahar Troen Mathias and son-in-law Shlomi Mathias saved their teenage son by flinging their bodies over him as they were attacked by Hamas gunmen. The family was in a secure room inside their home when it was penetrated by the militants. Sadly, Debbie and Shlomi lost their lives in their efforts to protect their son. The young boy, Troen's grandson, was shot in the abdomen and is currently hospitalized.
The attack on the Troen family is just one of many in the latest escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas. The Jewish nation has been under attack by militants, resulting in over 600 deaths and thousands of injuries. In response, Israel has initiated a ruthless counteroffensive, causing widespread destruction and further loss of life.
Amidst the chaos, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed that 'several Americans' may be among the dead and captured in the Israeli terror attacks. Troen himself is an American, having studied at and taught at Brandeis University. The school released a statement expressing their condolences and condemning the acts of terrorism that claimed the lives of Troen's daughter and son-in-law.
Troen is a highly respected member of the Brandeis community, having served as a professor and mentor to many students. Historian Martin Kramer described him as a 'miracle wrapped in tragedy.' Troen had recently retired and moved to Israel with his wife Carol to be with their family, a decision that ultimately led to the loss of their beloved daughter and son-in-law.
The Hamas militants responsible for the attack have shown no remorse and have even paraded their hostages, including innocent mothers with children, on social media. The abducted hostages are believed to be used as bargaining chips to secure the release of Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails. They could also be used as human shields to protect certain targets from Israel's airstrikes.
As the violence in Israel continues to escalate, protest rallies in support of Palestine have sprung up in major cities around the world. In New York, a large-scale pro-Palestine rally is planned to take place in Times Square, the cultural epicenter of the city. However, Governor Kathy Hochul has condemned the rally, describing it as 'abhorrent and morally repugnant.' Mayor Eric Adams has also spoken out against the attacks, despite being on a tour of South America at the time.
The international community is calling for an end to the violence and for both sides to come to the negotiation table. As innocent lives continue to be lost, the world can only hope for a resolution to this deadly conflict. Meanwhile, the Troen family and the Brandeis community mourn the loss of their loved ones, who tragically lost their lives in an act of cowardice and terror.