House Republicans turn up heat on Biden to broker ‘expedient release’ of Hamas hostages, support Israel


FIRST ON FOX: A group of House Republicans exhorted President Biden to “ensure the expedient release” of U.S. citizens being held hostage by Hamas terrorists and voice Israel’s “inviolable right to self-defense.”

“We write today to express our full support for the State of Israel in its fight against Hamas. Specifically, we urge your administration to do everything in your power to ensure the safe and expedient release of the hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza in the wake of the vicious October 7th attack,” the letter from Rep. Russell Fry, R-S.C., to the White House said. 

“Further, we implore the White House to show unwavering support for Israel and to spare no effort to assist the Jewish state in its mission to 1) defeat Hamas and 2) ensure the release of these hostages during this particularly trying time in Israel’s history,” the letter said.

Fry was joined by 15 GOP lawmakers to demand support for Israel.

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Biden speaks at White House

President Biden speaks from the Oval Office of the White House. A group of House Republicans sent a letter to Biden on Thursday imploring him to bring American hostages being held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza home. (AP/Jonathan Ernst/Pool)

The unexpected and overwhelming assault by at least 1,500 Hamas fighters, who poured into Israel by land and sea, killed about 1,200 people on Oct. 7, 2023.

More than 250 people were taken hostage and moved to Hamas’ Gaza stronghold.

“While we recognize the magnitude and complexity of this situation, we must not forget that these savage terrorists have raped and pillaged their way across Israel’s southern communities,” the letter said. 

5 American citizens

Among the hostages, U.S. officials have said that five are American citizens, though it is unclear whether they are alive.

“As you know, five American citizens are still believed to be hostages of Hamas: Edan Alexander, Sagui Dekel-Chen, Omer Neutra, Hersh Goldberg-Polin and Keith Siegel,” the letter said. “As this situation evolved, it quickly became evident that unthinkable acts, such as severe sexual and psychological abuse, had been perpetrated against these hostages.”

The group of GOP lawmakers urged the White House to be “aligned” with Israel and that “deviations” from supporting Israel only “harden” Hamas’ resolve.

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“We strongly believe that the United States should be Israel’s greatest ally and advocate in the fight to bring these individuals home, particularly considering the international community’s consistent and callous minimization of the condition of these hostages,” the letter said. “With this in mind, it is of utmost importance that the United States be aligned with Israel in its goals, as any deviations between Washington, D.C., and Jerusalem only serve to harden Hamas’s resolve and decrease the chances for hostage negotiations.”

Biden with hand up to lips sitting in front of Israel flag

House Republicans on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden on Thursday imploring him to bring home American hostages being held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. (Getty Images)

The letter urged Biden to use the “voice, status and power” of the U.S. to bring the hostages home.

“As such, the United States must use its voice, status, and power on the world stage to amplify the plight of these innocent hostages who were ripped from their homes by a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO). As a nation, we must continue to stand with Israel and ensure Jerusalem has everything it needs to execute its right to self-defense against Gaza, Iran, and its other adversaries in the Middle East,” the letter said.

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The letter pointed to Hamas leadership living in Qatar, urging the White House to pressure the opulent country to stop supporting the terrorist group.

Put pressure on Qatar

“The United States must also pressure Qatar to end its duplicitous role in this crisis. We urge you to pressure Doha to expel the leadership of Hamas from Qatar and to cease its support for the terrorist group,” the letter said. “The United States cannot partner with countries that provide a haven to FTOs that continue to kill and entrap innocent individuals. An honest assessment of U.S.-Qatar relations is vital to the safe return of these hostages as well as an end to the Israel-Hamas war.”

Rep. Russell Fry

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Fry said that the letter to Biden came after he witnessed first-hand the aftermath of the attacks.

“During our time in Israel, my colleagues and I witnessed first-hand the aftermath of the October 7th attacks and the heartbreaking destruction and disruption of life Israelis have faced,” Fry said. 

‘Must defeat Hamas’

“The Biden administration should not be turning our back on our greatest ally in the Middle East,” he said. “The United States must do everything it can to support Israel to defeat Hamas and other terrorists and help ensure the safe release of all hostages taken by Hamas.”

Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant

Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon, March 26, in Arlington, Va. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, affirming the U.S.’ support of Israel.

In a press briefing Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said that the U.S. support of Israel was “ironclad.”

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“Secretary Austin spoke with his Israeli counterpart this afternoon. Minister Gallant to discuss the current situation in the Middle East and to reaffirm the U.S. ironclad commitment to Israel’s security against threats from Iran and its proxies.”

Ryder said that the U.S. is in “close contact” with Israel as the Iran threat continues. 





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