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Israeli forces have detained two young adult American brothers and their Canadian father in in Gaza in an overnight raid on their home in the besieged Palestinian territory, relatives of the men said.
A US Embassy official in Jerusalem reached by telephone from Washington said American officials were aware of the situation and were following up with Israeli authorities.
The embassy official gave no details and ended the call without giving her name. The Israeli foreign ministry and military had no immediate comment.
Borak Alagha, 18, and Hashem Alagha, 20, two brothers born in the Chicago area, are among fewer than 50 US citizens known to still be trying to leave sealed-off Gaza, as the Israel-Hamas war entered its fifth month.
Read more: Joe Biden appears to forget the name of Hamas in bumbling speech on Israel war
Numerous other US green-card holders and close relatives of the citizens and permanent residents also are still struggling and unable to leave, despite U.S. requests, according to their American families and advocates.
Cousin Yasmeen Elagha, a law student at Northwestern University, said Israeli forces entered the family home in the communityof al-Muwasi, near the southern city of Khan Younis, around 5 a.m. Gaza time Thursday.
The soldiers tied up and blindfolded the women and children in the family, and placed them outside the home, the cousin said.
The two American brothers, their Canadian citizen father, a mentally disabled uncle and two other adult male relatives were taken away by the Israelis, and remain missing, Elagha said.
Men of a neighboring household were also taken away. So were other adult male relatives of another Alagha household, for a total of about 20 detained, the U.S. cousin said.
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