On Friday and Saturday, Hamas released a number of hostages that its terrorists had taken during the October 7 surprise attack into Israel, though none of the 24 hostages released on Friday or 17 hostages released on Saturday were Americans, a detail that Trump drew attention to in a post on Truth Social.
Particularly, Trump drew attention to the lack of Americans in those hostages Hamas decided to release and argued that its leaving out Americans meant that it doesn’t respect America’s current crop of leaders, which in turn represents that these are dark times for America.
Posting on Truth Social about the issue, the former president and likely 2024 GOP candidate said, “Has anybody noticed that Hamas has returned people from other Countries but, so far, has not returned one American Hostage? There is only one reason for that, NO RESPECT FOR OUR COUNTRY OR OUR LEADERSHIP. This is a very sad and dark period of America!”
Shortly afterward, Trump commented on the matter again, arguing that Hamas’ attempt to renegotiate the release at the last minute would end poorly. He said: “Hamas now wants a better deal for hostages. This is not going to end well!”
The lack of Americans among those released was rectified in another round of hostage handovers on Sunday, with 4-year-old American Abigail Mor Edan among those released. President Biden, commenting on her release, said, “She’s free and she’s in Israel now.”
Continuing, President Biden added, “Abigail was among 13 hostages released today from Gaza under the brokered and sustained though intensive U.S. diplomacy. She is now safely in Israel. And we continue to press and expect for additional Americans will be released as well.”
Abigail’s great aunt Liz Hirsh Naftali and cousin Noa Naftali released a statement on her release, saying, “We hoped and prayed today would come. There are no words to express our relief and gratitude that Abigail is safe and coming home.”
Continuing, the statement added, “Thank you to President Biden and his dedicated team; thank you to the Qatari government and other informal actors who are involved in securing Abigail’s release and reuniting other hostages with their loved ones. Today’s release proves that it’s possible. We can get all hostages back home.”
The hostage release came as part of a deal brokered between Israel and Hamas. Under the deal, Hamas agreed to release some of the 200 hostages it took in exchange for the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners held by the Israelis and for a four-day ceasefire in Gaza.
Team Biden commented on the president’s attempts to get the hostages released in a statement, saying, “President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to discuss the situation in Gaza. The President welcomed the release of hostages by Hamas over the past three days, including a young American girl. The two leaders also discussed the pause in the fighting and surge in much needed additional humanitarian assistance into Gaza. The Prime Minister thanked the President for his tireless efforts to help broker and fully implement this deal. The two leaders agreed that the work is not yet done and that they will continue working to secure the release of all hostages. The two leaders agreed to remain in close contact over the coming days.”
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