More than 500 Americans and their family members are trapped in Gaza, unable to get home because Hamas authorities are denying them free exit, according to multiple reports.
While the exact number is unclear, Israel Defense Forces have said 230 Americans are being held by Hamas in Gaza, Forbes reported Tuesday, while others report the number as high as 500.
During an appearance that day before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: "We're working on this every single day. We have about 400 American citizens and their family members, so it's roughly 1,000 people who are stuck in Gaza and want to get out."
The Washington Post on Oct. 20 reported that at least 400 American hostages were in Gaza, unable to leave because nobody was being allowed to leave the territory at the time.
"Separately, the Biden administration believes that about 500 Americans are trapped inside Gaza, not as hostages but because they were there when the Hamas attack occurred and have been unable to leave amid the Israeli military's retaliation," the Post reported then.
CBS News reported Thursday that "the U.S. government estimates that between 500 and 600 Americans are among the roughly 2.3 million people trapped in the Gaza Strip, which Israel has completely sealed off since the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers launched their unprecedented terror attack on Oct. 7."
"While hundreds of Americans have been flown out of Israel since then, not a single person — with the exception of four hostages released by Hamas — has been allowed to leave Gaza," CBS News said.
While the Americans are not necessarily being held by armed Hamas terrorists in underground tunnels, they are trapped in Gaza against their will.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., posted on X on Tuesday that "[t]he White House admitted Hamas is holding nearly 500 Americans hostage in Gaza."
"Are they counting Americans who are dual passport holders in Gaza, Palestinians who Hamas is not letting go? You would classify them as hostages. I think that's what she means," Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt said during an appearance Wednesday morning on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "Not the ones that are being held we think underground, the 12 to 20 Americans there.
The White House has said Palestinian terrorist group Hamas was preventing people from leaving Gaza via the Rafah into Egypt.
However, it was reported Wednesday that dozens of people had entered the Rafah crossing — the first time foreign passport holders have been allowed to leave the besieged territory since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
At least 1,400 Israelis were killed during the coordinated Oct. 7 terror attacks by Hamas.
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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