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March 05, 2024 | In The News

Stepmother of Hamas hostage will be Florida representative’s guest to State of the Union

TAMPA BAY NEWS — The stepmother of a Hamas hostage will attend Thursday’s State of the Union address as Sarasota-based U.S. Rep. Greg Steube’s, R-Fla., distinguished guest.

35-year-old Sagui Dekel-Chen was kidnapped by Hamas while fighting to protect his wife and children during the October attacks.

Gillian Kaye says it’s been months since she’s received word about Sagui.

“We have not had proof of life about Sagui since November, since the last group of hostages came back and people who knew him from the kibbutz and saw him in the tunnels,” said Kaye.

Since Sagui’s been in captivity, the family has welcomed his youngest daughter.

“She’s beautiful, her name is Shachar, which in Hebrew means Dawn,” said Kaye. “She’s the brightest light in our horrific darkness right now.”

Kaye is grateful for a supportive family; she’s grateful Rep. Steube is shining a national spotlight on the hostages and their families.

“I’m honored Ms. Kaye has accepted my invitation to the State of the Union. The eyes of the world will be on Washington as the president addresses the state of the war and hostage negotiation efforts,” said Rep. Steube. “Ms. Kaye, her husband Jonathan, Sagui’s wife Avital, their three daughters and countless other loved ones have awaited Sagui’s safe return for nearly five months. Ms. Kaye’s presence at the State of the Union is integral to keeping national and international attention on bringing every single hostage home.”

Kaye says the invitation is a meaningful representation for families of hostages.

“I think what we would like to see is just the administration to continue to talk Thursday night about the importance about their commitment to bringing all of the hostages home alive,” she said.

She and her husband have a vision of that day.

“Sagui will walk on his own two feet down a hallway into a room and there will his wife and his three gorgeous girls be,” said Kaye. “Galia and Bar will leap into his arms and he’ll hold Shachar and we’ll be whole again, all of us.”