Biden Meets With Families Of 8 American Captives Still Held In Gaza

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023 - 07:45 PM

President Biden says he's looking to restart Israel-Hamas negotiations in order to gain the freedom of the several Americans still in captivity. However, all signs point to this as an unlikely scenario anytime soon.

The president met with relatives of American citizens still being held hostage in Gaza at the White House on Wednesday. Most or all of the captives are dual citizens. 

There are still 135 captives in total being held, though some might be feared dead - and of the total seven are American citizens and one is a US Green Card holder. The prior seven-day truce saw over 100 captives freed, including some Americans.

The family members that attended included Yael and Adi Alexander, Ruby and Roy Chen, Ronen and Orna Neutra, Jonathan Dekel-Chen, Gillian Kaye, Aviva, Elan, Shir and Hanna Siegel, and Liz Naftali. Three others joined by phone: Jon Polin, Rachel Goldberg and Iris Haggai.

"We have no better friend in Washington or in the White House than President Biden himself," said Jonathan Dekel-Chen, a family member among those meeting with Biden. "They are willing and ready to do all that they possibly can, by any number of means to get the hostages out."

However, just last Friday the US shot down UN efforts to revive a ceasefire, given it was the lone "no" vote for a UN Security Council draft resolution urging immediate ceasefire.

In the opening weeks of the Gaza War, the Pentagon confirmed it had dispatched a team of special forces to advise and assist the Israeli military concerning the hostages.

Alarmingly, this week Israeli officials said the military has begun flooding Gaza's tunnel system, hoping to flush out the Hamas militants who hide there. Critics warn this could kill any hostages potentially being held underground as well.

As the Israel ground operation presses on, also now in the south, the situation grows riskier by the day for the remaining hostages. Some are believed to have already been killed by airstrikes. 

The specific fate of the eight remaining American captives remains unknown. Currently, it's unlikely that Israeli or US intelligence so much as has any idea where they are being kept inside the Gaza Strip, now a full besieged military zone. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will again travel to Israel in the coming days, where he'll meet with Israel's war cabinet.