Their 16-year-old son is now recovering at a hospital
A couple has died in Israel while protecting their teenage son from Hamas gunfire, Metro reported. The woman's father said that his daughter and son-in-law, Deborah and Shlomi Matias, were killed by militants after they threw themselves in front of the bullets to shield their son. Notably, the couple were inside a safe room with their son, Rotem Mathias, 16, when the militants suddenly burst in.
"The terrorists came into their place, broke through the doors, shot them,'' Ilan Troen, the woman's father told Boston television station WBZ-TV.
''They made sure to fall on him and thereby saved his life. Although a bullet actually entered his abdomen he was saved,'' Mr Troen added.
Notably, Ilan Troen is a professor of Israeli studies at Brandeis, as well as the founding director of the Schusterman Center of Israel Studies at the school, as per CBS News. He was also in Israel during the attacks.
Meanwhile, his grandson is now recovering from his injuries at a hospital in Southern Israel.
Brandeis University said in a statement, ''We at Brandeis are deeply saddened to learn that Professor Troen has lost his daughter and son-in-law in the tragic events that are currently taking place in Israel. Ilan, a Brandeis alumnus, and his family have long been treasured members of the Brandeis community, and we hold Ilan, his wife Carol, and his entire family in our thoughts. We condemn in the strongest way terrorism such as we have seen today perpetrated against innocent civilians.''
"That is this well-rehearsed and planned act of unbridled violence was not the consequence of an individual's madness or evil but the product of a government that some give public recognition," Mr Troen said of Hamas.
On Saturday, Hamas militants launched a surprise assault on Israel, killing more than 600 Israelis and escaping with dozens of hostages. Israel responded with airstrikes on Gaza, and the conflict has since escalated. The Israeli army said tens of thousands of soldiers were deployed to fight terrorists in southern desert regions near the coastal enclave, to rescue Israeli hostages and then evacuate the entire region within 24 hours.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Gaza civilians to get away from all Hamas sites which he has vowed to turn "to rubble".