Roee Idan

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

On October 20,  Israeli journalist Roee Idan was declared dead after his body was recovered following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, according to The Times of Israel and the International Federation of Journalists. Idan, a photographer and videographer for the Israeli newspaper Ynet, was initially reported missing when his wife was killed and one of his daughters was kidnapped in kibbutz Kfar Aza.    

Idan left his house in Kfar Aza, which is close to the border fence with Gaza, when the assault began, filming and taking pictures of the Hamas militants who entered the kibbutz by paraglider and of Gaza rockets being intercepted by Israel’s defense system. Right after that, he went home with his wife and three children, according to Idan’s employer

The same report by Ynet said that the Hamas militants eventually came to Idan’s home and shot and killed his wife, Smadar. Two of their children, Michael and Amelia, hid in closets and stayed in their home’s secure room for 14 hours with their mother’s body. Idan was outside the house holding his 3-year-old daughter Abigail, when he was shot dead. Abigail was kidnapped and taken to Gaza as one of about 240 Israeli hostages.

Overall, an estimated 1,200 Israelis were killed in Hamas’ surprise October 7 raid and about 240 were taken back to Gaza as hostages, according to a November 10 press release by the spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.  Israel responded to the incursion with attacks on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, launching air and ground strikes that have left nearly 23,000 Palestinian dead, according to news reports. Abigail Idan was released in late November 2023 as part of a deal struck with the Israeli military, according to news reports

Idan’s employer published the pictures and footage that Idan took before he was killed.

Idan covered the local news in southern Israel, including the rocket strikes on Israeli cities and their impact on schools. He also covered the COVID-19 pandemic and events attended by senior Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.