On Saturday, former President Donald Trump criticized the absence of U.S. citizens among the hostages released by the Hamas terrorist group, characterizing it as a lack of respect for America under President Joe Biden.
Israeli forces verified the liberation of 17 hostages, comprising 13 Israelis and 4 Thai captives, in a second release by Hamas. Notably, no Americans were among those freed. The preceding day, Hamas had released 24 hostages, including 13 Israelis, 10 individuals from Thailand, and one from the Philippines.
While Hamas had released two U.S. citizens on October 20, there had been no further releases of Americans since. According to U.S. intelligence, approximately 10 Americans remain among the hostages held by the Hamas terror group, which had seized captives during its October 7 raid on Israeli settlements, resulting in the brutal killing of over 1,000 people.
Expressing his concern on Truth Social on Saturday, President Trump noted, “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 for America!”
In contrast, President Biden, while vacationing in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on Friday, conveyed his expectation of the release of American hostages. He stated, “We don’t know when that will occur, but we’re going to expect it to occur.
We don’t know what the list of all the hostages are and when they will be released, but we know the numbers that are going to be released, So it’s my hope and expectation it will be soon.”
Earlier on Saturday, Israeli forces confirmed the release of 17 hostages, including 8 children, by Hamas in a second group of liberated captives. Concerns had arisen when an initial delay by the terror group raised fears that the hostages-for-prisoners swap deal might be in jeopardy.