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Sec of State Blinken Claims Hamas Blocking Americans From Leaving Gaza

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that Hamas is preventing Americans and other foreign nationals from leaving Gaza. Host Margaret Brennan asked if there was any chance Israel or Egypt would allow these individuals to exit through either the Rafah Gate or Erez Crossing.

In response, Blinken stressed that they have several hundred people in need of assistance who had attempted to leave via Rafah but were blocked by Hamas, highlighting their disregard for civilians stuck in Gaza.

“This is something that we’re working, again, virtually every single day. We have in the- right now in the region on the ground, one of our most experienced diplomats, David Satterfield, working with the different governments concerned with- with Israel, with Egypt, to make sure that we’re ready to be able to get people out, assuming Hamas lets them move. So really, the ball is in Hamas’ court, in terms of letting people who want to leave, civilians from third countries including Americans get out of Gaza.”

When asked to clarify if Hamas is preventing Americans from leaving Gaza, Blinken responded affirmatively. In response to Brennan’s inquiry as to whether missing Americans, believed to have been kidnapped, are being held by Hamas or other militant groups, Blinken did not provide further information.

“Look, you’ll understand I can’t speak to the – to the details of this. We’ve been engaged from virtually the first day of this. I don’t want to be clear when it was clear that Hamas had taken men, women, young children, elderly people hostage, including Americans. It was really gratifying.”

“Yesterday, I got a chance to speak to the two Americans, the mother, daughter, Judith and Natalie Raanan, who were released. I spoke to them. We are very appreciative of the assistance that we got from the Government of Qatar, to make sure that they could get out and now soon be reunited with their families. We’re hopeful that- that others follow. It is imperative that every single hostage, every single hostage of whatever nationality, be released immediately and without condition.”


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Joe Messina

Joe Messina

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