This story originally appeared on 6abc.
As New Jersey communities gathered in support of Israel on Tuesday night, a handful of parents pleaded for their children’s safe return from overseas.
“Please bring our son back,” Edan Alexander’s parents said.
Alexander graduated from Tenafly High School in Bergen County just last year and is now missing in Israel. He is an IDF soldier stationed near the Gaza Strip.
Laor Abramov is another New Jersey native missing in Israel.
Abramov is a DJ who was attending a music festival in Israel when Hamas unleashed that brutal attack on the country and its civilians.
During his speech at the White House Tuesday night, President Joe Biden said he has no higher priority than finding the American hostages.
At least 20 Americans are missing after the attack. White House officials say the government has been in regular contact with their families.
“They were just going out to have a good time in this crazy world that they live in like young people should do. It’s like the craziest horror movie that no one could dream something like this could happen,” Abramov’s parents said.
In Hoboken Tuesday night, residents gathered at a rally in support of Israel. Governor Phil Murphy spoke with Alexander’s parents and announced that he stands with the people of Israel.
“At this moment, the more than 5,700 miles that separate New Jersey, from the people of Israel, those miles have all but vanished. Though we may be separated by a great physical distance, it’s spirit. We are united in heartbreak and grief,” Murphy said.
The governor says that not only does New Jersey have one of the largest Jewish populations of any state, but also Palestinian. On Monday, community members unified in Paterson to support the Palestinians affected by the atrocities of war.
Several other current or former New Jersey residents have been reported missing by family. Many of the missing appear to be United States-Israeli dual citizens with family in both countries.
New Jersey is reportedly deploying resources to protect both Jewish and Muslim communities.