A Columbia University graduate and Connecticut native was shot and killed in the West Bank Monday by a suspected Palestinian terrorist, the Israeli Consulate announced.
Elan Ganeles, who graduated from the Ivy league school last May, became the latest victim of growing violence in the Israeli-controlled West Bank when two men opened fire on his car.
The 27-year-old was in Israel for a friend’s wedding when he was gunned down while driving, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford.
Ganeles was a resident of West Harford who studied both neuroscience and sustainable development at Columbia.
He was honored during a vigil at the university Tuesday night.
“Because of how much he gave in his time, he just touched so many people,” Dan Golde said at the vigil, according to CBS News.
Friends described him as welcoming, funny, helpful and “eccentric in the best possible way” in interviews with CBS.
Mayor Eric Adams offered his condolences and said he stands with Israel and for peace.
“Elan Ganeles was a New Yorker. His loss is a tragedy,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter. “His generation deserves a world free of terror, a world where we stand up in the face of hate and reject the forces who divide us.”
Ganeles was a dual citizen of the US and Israel.
He served in the Israeli Defense Force from 2016 to 2018 and will be buried in the country on Wednesday.
“Elan’s love for the Jewish people and Israel led him to volunteer in his local community and to serve in the IDF,” the Jewish Federations of North America said in a statement. “A recent college graduate, Elan had a bright future ahead of him. Our hearts go out to his family and to the West Hartford community and we cry together with them.”
Ganeles was killed a day after two Israeli brothers, Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, were also gunned down in their car.
A Palestinian man, Sameh Aqtash, was then shot and killed as hundreds of Israelis rioted in the Palestinian town of Huawara in response to the brothers’ murders Sunday.
Since the beginning of 2023, 62 Palestinians and 14 Israelis have been killed in a surge of violence between the two groups, according to the Associated Press.
Of the 62 Palestinians killed, about half identified as militants while the other half are believed to have been civilians.