(DailyVantage.com) – Hamas terrorists in Gaza continue to hold the fate of their hundreds of hostages like a sword of Damocles hovering over Israel and its allies, including a 3-year-old American boy whom they also orphaned after killing his parents.
The identity of the toddler was not released, but President Joe Biden brought up his situation when he spoke to Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani recently. The U.S. has marked the release of the hostages Hamas holds as “urgent”, given that there are a number of American citizens among the prisoners the terrorist group holds. The U.S. also says that there are still 10 Americans unaccounted for since Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel.
Qatar was sympathetic to the plight of the hostages, and Sheikh Tamim agreed with President Biden that the prisoners “must be released without further delay”. The small but influential Arab country has been instrumental in negotiations in the past. Qatar played a key role in securing the release of two American citizens in October, Judith and Natalie Raanan of Chicago. Hamas has only released four of its hostages thus far, with Israeli forces managing to rescue a fifth a few weeks ago.
The Israel Defense Force estimates that there are roughly 20 children among Hamas’ hostages, as well as anywhere from 10 to 20 individuals who are over 60 years old. Among them are the children of B’atSheva Yahalomi, Hadas Kalderon, and Renana Jacob, who are currently in the U.K. to campaign for the release of their children, as well as the other hostages. The families of all three women lived in the Nir Oz kibbutz in Israel, and their children were among those taken when Hamas conducted its deadly October 7 attack that left more than 1,500 Israelis dead, many of them innocent civilians.
U.S. officials say that negotiations with Hamas are ongoing, with the U.S. “actively working” to help secure the release of its citizens and “every other person being held hostage”. Qatar is again helping by serving as a bridge for people from Hamas.
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