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Tags: hamas | hostages | ransom | terrorists | israel | war

Hamas Claims to Have 163 Hostages in Gaza

By    |   Sunday, 08 October 2023 11:29 AM EDT

As former President Donald Trump and myriad critics of President Joe Biden have long warned, paying Iran a $6 billion "ransom" for hostages will embolden terrorists to take more hostages. Now, Hamas is claiming it has taken 163 hostages from Israel.

The Iran-backed terrorist group stormed Israel on Saturday, forcing Israel to declare a state of war.

"We have reports that several Americans may be among the dead," Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "We are very actively working to verify those reports. "Similarly, we have seen reports about hostages and again we're very actively trying to verify them and nail that down."

Blinken acknowledged some American citizens are among the hostages, telling NBC "that's correct."

"Any American anywhere, who's being detained and held hostage, that is going to be a priority for this government, for this administration, and for me.

"But I don't want to get ahead of where we are. We have reports; we need to verify them."

The Independent is reporting a Holocaust survivor is among the hostages taken to Gaza by Hamas.

Multiple outlets have reported an unspecified number of hostages and prisoners of war have been taken, as confirmed Saturday by the Israel Defense Forces. Hamas has claimed it has taken 163 out of Israel to Gaza, JNS (Jewish News Syndicate) reported Sunday.

Bloomberg News could not confirm the number of hostages, but it reported those Israelis were ripped from their everyday activities in the incursion into Israel from Gaza.

"We heard from the president of Iran," House Foreign Affairs Chair Mike McCaul told Sunday's "State of the Union" on CNN. "He's very clear in his words that, I'm going to do whatever I want with that money. I believe his words. I'm not real sanguine about this so-called money transfer, laundering operation through Doha. The fidelity of that seems to be a little uncertain.

"The JCPOA was half-a-billion, and this is $6 billion in exchange for five hostages. That's about a billion dollars per blue passport," McCaul said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the Iran deal. "I'm worried about that kind of money in the hands of the largest terror sponsor in the world."

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said Saturday the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has been taking "hostages and prisoners of war."

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari confirmed ongoing hostage situations in the towns of Ofakim and Beeri. Hamas militants are holding Israeli civilians and soldiers hostage in Gaza.

The military did not say how many hostages were seized, but their capture marks a major escalation in the fighting.

Social media has been filled with videos showing Hamas fighters dragging lifeless Israeli soldiers on the ground and parading captured civilians, including women and children, through the streets of Gaza.

"Paying $6 billion in a ransom for hostages, I think set the conditions for this unprecedented terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel," former Vice President Mike Pence told CNN on Sunday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
As former President Donald Trump and myriad critics of President Joe Biden have long warned, paying Iran a $6 billion "ransom" for hostages will embolden terrorists to take more hostages. Now, Hamas is claiming it has taken 163 hostages from Israel. The Iran-backed terrorist...
hamas, hostages, ransom, terrorists, israel, war
527
2023-29-08
Sunday, 08 October 2023 11:29 AM
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