Two Americans held hostage by Hamas freed, govt to provide full support in recovery: Biden
The freed pair, a mother and her teenage daughter, were the first hostages to be released by Hamas, and more than 200 are still being held
Two American citizens held hostage by Hamas since October 7 have been released, US President Joe Biden announced Friday, 20 October, assuring that his government would fully support the duo in their recovery and healing process.
Biden thanked the governments of Qatar and Israel for their partnership in securing the release of the two hostages -- a mother and her teenage daughter.
Soon thereafter, Biden spoke over the phone with the two released hostages and their family.
“Today, we have secured the release of two Americans taken hostage by Hamas during the horrific terrorist assault against Israel on 7 October ,” the president said in a statement.
“Our fellow citizens have endured a terrible ordeal these past 14 days, and I am overjoyed that they will soon be reunited with their family, who have been wracked with fear. These individuals and their family will have the full support of the United States government as they recover and heal, and we should all respect their privacy at this moment,” he said.
The freed pair were the first hostages to be released by Hamas, and more than 200 are still being held.
Biden asserted that from the earliest moments of this attack, his administration has been working round-the-clock to free American citizens who were taken hostage by Hamas and have not ceased their efforts to secure the release of those who are still being held.
“About an hour ago, two American citizens held by Hamas since 7 October were released. These two Americans are now safely in the hands of Israeli authorities in Israel,” US Secretary of State Tony Blinken told reporters here, adding that he expects a team from the US embassy to see them very shortly.
“Over the coming hours, they will receive any support and assistance they need, and of course, we are very anxious to be able to reunite them with their loved ones. We welcome their release. We share in the relief that their families, friends, and loved ones are feeling, but there are still ten additional Americans who remain unaccounted for in this conflict,” Blinken said.
“We know that some of them are being held hostage by Hamas, along with an estimated 200 other hostages in Gaza. They include men, women, young boys, young girls, and elderly people from many nations. Every single one of them should be released. Since the early -- earliest hours of this crisis, the president has made clear that he will do everything possible to secure the release of every hostage,” Blinken said.
He thanked the government of Qatar for their assistance in the release of the two hostages.
"It is impossible to adequately put into words the agony the family of American hostages are feeling of not knowing the fate of their loved ones, worrying relentlessly about them, for their safety, for their security, for their well-being," Blinken said.
“No family anywhere should have to experience this torture. What I shared with the families, as the president did as well, is that the entire United States government will work every minute of every day to secure their release, to bring their loved ones home. They have my solemn pledge, those who continue to have loved ones held hostage by Hamas, that we'll continue to do that, working as though these family members were our own,” he said.
Published: 21 Oct 2023, 9:55 AM