WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is calling for the Biden administration to formally declare the approximately 500 Americans in Gaza as hostages under federal law.
Senator Blackburn said, “Hamas is holding approximately 500 Americans hostage. The Biden administration needs to formally declare these individuals hostages and explain to the American people how they are working to secure their release without appeasing Hamas. We cannot be in a situation where the U.S. government is giving into the demands of terrorists.”
National Security And Immigration Experts Agree That The Approximately 500 Americans In Gaza Are Hostages
Robert O'Brien, Former United States National Security Advisor and Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs, said, “[Senator Blackburn] is right. It looks like this situation is turning into a US hostage case under 18 U.S. CODE § 1203. See: ‘Hamas has blocked them [AMCITS] from leaving, showing…its total disregard for civilians…who are stuck in Gaza,’ SEC Blinken said on ‘Face the Nation’.”
Richard Grenell, Former Acting Director of the United States National Intelligence, said, “When a terrorist organization won’t let 500 people with American passports leave - then they are being held against their desire/will. It doesn’t matter where they live or where they want to go. They are detained Americans. Pretending that Hamas isn’t really holding them is the lie.”
Jonathan T Gilliam, former Navy SEAL and FBI Special Agent, said, “I agree with [Senator Blackburn]. Americans trapped vs held hostage in Gaza can’t be differentiated in this situation. Their rescue demands our immediate action. Biden administration is trying to differentiate so they can force the US into a long term role to siphon taxpayer money.”
Stephen Miller, former White House Senior Advisor to President Trump, said, “Senator Blackburn is right. There is zero doubt Hamas will be using all US citizens trapped within its territory as attempted leverage against the United States and Israel.”
- On Sunday, Jake Sullivan on Face the Nation stated, “Hamas is preventing the departure [of Americans and other foreign nationals out of Gaza] making a series of demands.”
- On Monday, the State Department’s spokesperson reaffirmed that Hamas was making "a number of demands" to allow foreign nationals to leave Gaza.
- Under 18 U.S. CODE § 1203, the some 500 Americans being held in Gaza are hostages. Plain and simple.