President Joe Biden spoke with Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani on Sunday and “condemned unequivocally” Hamas for its continued holding of American hostages.
Among those American citizens who are still the terrorists’ captives, the White House revealed, is a three-year-old toddler whose parents were murdered by Hamas on the first day of the group’s savage attack on Israel — October 7th.
President Biden “expressed his appreciation to Qatar and Sheikh Tamim personally for his earlier efforts to secure the release of hostages from Hamas, including two American citizens, and the urgent ongoing efforts to secure additional releases,” according to the White House.
“He condemned unequivocally the holding of hostages by Hamas, including many young children, one of whom is a 3-year old American citizen toddler, whose parents were killed by Hamas on October 7th,” the readout continued. “The two leaders agreed that all hostages must be released without further delay.”
As previously reported, more than 1,400 Israelis died at the hands of Hamas, and over 200 civilians were kidnapped and held as hostages on October 7th.
Despite efforts by the Biden administration and Qatar, just four hostages have been released thus far, Reuters reports.
And Hamas may not be the only terrorist group holding Americans hostage.
According to Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D – Fla.), who joined a US delegation to Tel Aviv over the weekend, the missing Americans could be in any “number of places.”
“The hostages are in number of places, some are in the tunnels, some are not in the tunnels,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”
“It might not be Hamas that has some of these hostages. It might not be Islamic Jihad that has some of these hostages,” he said. “It might be some of the citizens of Gaza.”
There are nine Americans still missing in Gaza, and Moskowitz said that securing their return is “a top priority.”
Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz tells @JonKarl that finding the hostages being kept in Gaza is “a top priority.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 12, 2023
In response to Hamas’s claims that a number of hostages have been killed by Israeli air strikes, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was vague.
“We don’t take anything Hamas says at face value,” he told ABC’s Jonathan Karl, “but we have no information that can either corroborate or counteract that.”
“We simply don’t know how many of the hostages are still alive, how many have been mistreated, how many Hamas itself has killed, just as it slaughtered hundreds and hundreds of people when it conducted those gruesome and horrific terrorist attacks on October 7th,” he added.
When asked about Hamas claims that hostages have been killed by Israeli air strikes, White House’s Jake Sullivan tells @JonKarl: “We don’t take anything Hamas says at face value, but we have no information that can either corroborate or counteract that.” https://t.co/cRxv6yAWXe pic.twitter.com/SlFs3vC5bZ
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 12, 2023
According to the White House, President Biden and Sheikh Tamim also “discussed the need to protect innocent civilians and ongoing efforts to increase the continuous flow of urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza.”
“The President welcomed the $100 million commitment from the GCC to support the humanitarian response, which matched the U.S. contribution announced last month,” the statement reads.
The President, the White House said, “affirmed his vision for a future Palestinian state where Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side with equal measures of stability and dignity. He noted that Hamas has long been an impediment to that outcome.”
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