Former President Donald Trump and numerous detractors of President Joe Biden had previously cautioned that giving Iran a $6 billion payment in exchange for hostages might encourage terrorists to capture more individuals. Following this, Hamas, supported by Iran, has stated that they have taken 163 Israelis captive.
Hamas initiated an offensive against Israel last Saturday, prompting Israel to announce a war state.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” mentioned potential casualties of Americans and said, “We are diligently working to confirm these claims.” He admitted that there were indeed American citizens among the captives.
“Our utmost priority is the safety of any detained American,” Blinken emphasized.
According to The Independent, one of the hostages in Gaza is a Holocaust survivor. Various media sources have mentioned the abduction of an indeterminate number of hostages and prisoners of war, a fact confirmed by the Israel Defense Forces. The JNS (Jewish News Syndicate) announced on Sunday that, as per Hamas, they have transported 163 people from Israel to Gaza.
While Bloomberg News couldn’t ascertain the exact number of hostages, they mentioned that these individuals were abducted during their daily routines due to the incursion from Gaza into Israel.
During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” House Foreign Affairs Chair Mike McCaul expressed doubts over the monetary transfer to Iran. Referring to the Iran deal, he commented on the alarming implications of such large sums being controlled by significant sponsors of terrorism.
On Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson stated that Hamas, the Palestinian terror group, has captured “hostages and prisoners of war.”
Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari confirmed ongoing hostage scenarios in Ofakim and Beeri, with Hamas militants keeping Israeli civilians and military personnel captive in Gaza.
The intensity of the conflict has escalated with the abductions. Online platforms have displayed distressing videos of Hamas militants mishandling Israeli captives in Gaza.
In a conversation with CNN on Sunday, former Vice President Mike Pence linked the $6 billion payment to Iran with the recent aggressive acts of Hamas against Israel.