Hamas Claims to Have 163 Hostages in Gaza
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By Eric Mack | 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 litt