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Seattle man returns to Israel as IDF reservist after relatives slaughtered by Hamas: ‘Jumped on first plane’

A Seattle man left his home and returned to Israel to serve as an IDF reservist after learning that his cousins and their three children were among the hundreds of Israeli civilians slaughtered in Hamas’ harrowing Oct. 7 attack.

The Israeli-born tech worker, who asked to be identified only as Rotem for safety reasons, has been living in Seattle for the past decade with his family when he received a text message from a member of his old IDF unit last week, urging him to check the news.

 As details of Hamas’ barbaric attack began to circulate and the extent of the bloodshed perpetrated by the terrorist group was revealed, Rotem understood that a war was imminent in the region. He immediately booked a flight to Israel, joining more than 300,000 other IDF reservists who were called to take up arms.

Rotem said the graphic and disturbing videos being circulated by Hamas terrorists who filmed their horrifying attacks on Israeli men, women and children, will help give pro-Palestinian activists an idea of “what Israel is dealing with.”

“I don’t want them to watch those videos but if that’s what they need to do, watch the videos,” he continued. “For their own mental health, I recommend they won’t, But open your eyes, watch the videos if you have to understand what Israel is dealing with.”

“Israel is a peaceful nation, the only democracy in the Middle East, and we are not here to fight,” Rotem emphasized. “We never wanted to. We’re, just doing what we are forced to [do].”

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Yael Halon is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to


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