Omer Neutra, who was raised in Plainview. He serves in...

Omer Neutra, who was raised in Plainview. He serves in the Israeli army and is believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas during the early hours of the Israel-Hamas war. Credit: Neutra Family

A Plainview native who joined the Israeli Army after graduating from The Schechter School of Long Island is missing and his family fears he has been abducted, along with more than a dozen U.S. hostages, by Hamas terrorists in Israel.

Omer Neutra, 21, was serving near the Gaza border, where he is in charge of a small base, on Saturday morning, when he was taken hostage during a surprise attack on military and civilians, his parents told Newsday.

"He's an American; a good Jewish boy who loves both the American country and the Israeli country," Omer's father, Ronen Neutra said. " … Everybody loves him. [He is] a smart, cool kid that was taken by Hamas. And, we need to bring him home."

Omer was raised on Long Island, the oldest of two sons to Ronen and Orna Neutra, who have dual American-Israeli citizenship.

He is a 2019 graduate of Schechter, a yeshiva in Williston Park, where he was an honors student, the captain of his basketball, soccer and volleyball teams and highly active in several Jewish community organizations, according to his parents. He served as regional president of the Metropolitan New York Region of United Synagogue Youth.

"We are heartbroken at the news that our beloved Schechter alum Omer is being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas," the school said in a statement. "We join the Neutra family in our pride in this tremendous young man, a natural-born leader and great friend to all who know him"

After high school, Omer was accepted to Binghamton University but instead took a gap year in Israel to connect with his family's roots, his parents said at a rally this week in Manhattan. Both of Omer's parents lived in Israel and each served in the Israeli Army.

Shortly after moving overseas, Omer also joined the Israeli military, where he was an officer and later a tank commander, his father said.

The couple last heard from Omer during a phone call on Friday where he described working long hours during the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays.

"He was looking forward to a quiet, peaceful weekend after a stressful month protecting the border," Orna Neutra said at the rally.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul meets Ronen and Orna Neutra of...

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul meets Ronen and Orna Neutra of Long Island, who are waiting news on their son Omer, who was kidnapped by Hamas last weekend. Credit: Gov. Kathy Hochul via X

In recent days, the frantic parents have been in contact with city, state and federal officials, including the Biden administration, seeking help in securing Omer's release and to ensure that their son is treated humanely and in accordance with international law.

"This is an act of violence and this is beyond real," Ronen Neutra told Newsday. "This is not war. This is criminal action on their behalf. They took kids. They took old people. And they just behaved like a mob."

"The United States and Biden are standing by Israel and everything must be done to bring those hundred people held captive by Hamas back to their families."

On Thursday, Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted a pair of photos with the Neutras, calling for the "safe and speedy return" of the Long Islander. New York City Mayor Eric Adams posted a photo with the couple on Wednesday.

Orna Neutra said she's not giving up hope that her son will be safely returned home.

"We know you are alive," she said at the rally. "Be strong. We love you very much. And we know we will be together again soon."

With Lisa L. Colangelo

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