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On Tuesday, Blackburn reported that the White House had acknowledged that Hamas is currently detaining nearly 500 Americans in Gaza.

Congressman Blackburn calls for the immediate resignation of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in light of Hamas’ refusal to allow 500 American citizens to depart from Gaza, thus rendering them hostages under federal law.


Posters of kidnapped Israelis being held in Gaza by Hamas, file screen image.

Blackburn’s office stated that they regard the 500 Americans who are reportedly trapped in Gaza, which Blinken mentioned as “400 American citizens and their families”, to be hostages based on U.S. law, citing 18 U.S. Code § 1203.

This is despite the White House previously stating yesterday that there were “less than 10” Americans held hostage.

The Department of Justice on 18 U.S. Code § 1203:

HOSTAGE TAKING (18 U.S.C. 1203)
In 1984, Congress enacted the hostage taking statute to implement the International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages. The statute became effective on January 6, 1985. Hostage taking is defined as the seizing or detention of an individual coupled with a threat to kill, injure or continue to detain such individual in order to compel a third person or governmental organization to take some action. The United States has jurisdiction over the taking of hostages outside the United States (a) if the perpetrator or a hostage is a United States national, (b) if the perpetrator is found in the United States regardless of his nationality, or (c) if the United States is the Government coerced by the hostage taker. See JM 9-60.700, et seq.

Cornell Law:

18 U.S. Code § 1203 – Hostage taking

(a)Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, seizes or detains and threatens to kill, to injure, or to continue to detain another person in order to compel a third person or a governmental organization to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the person detained, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished by imprisonment for any term of years or for life and, if the death of any person results, shall be punished by death or life imprisonment.
(b)
(1)It is not an offense under this section if the conduct required for the offense occurred outside the United States unless—
(A)the offender or the person seized or detained is a national of the United States;
(B)the offender is found in the United States; or
(C)the governmental organization sought to be compelled is the Government of the United States.

(2)It is not an offense under this section if the conduct required for the offense occurred inside the United States, each alleged offender and each person seized or detained are nationals of the United States, and each alleged offender is found in the United States, unless the governmental organization sought to be compelled is the Government of the United States.
(c)As used in this section, the term “national of the United States” has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22)).
(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, § 2002(a), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2186; amended Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7028, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4397; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60003(a)(10), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1969; Pub. L. 104–132, title VII, § 723(a)(1), Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1300.)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a Senate hearing Tuesday that about 400 Americans were trapped in Gaza by Hamas. (ABC News excerpt):

“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. I’m focused on this intensely,” Blinken said in an exchange with Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., during Tuesday’s testimony before the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

…”The impediment is simple: It’s Hamas. We’ve not yet found a way to get them out by whatever — through whatever place and by whatever means that Hamas is not blocking, but we’re working that with intermediaries,” he continued.

“They are also another roughly 5,000 third-country nationals from other countries seeking to get out,” Blinken added.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller signaled during a Tuesday afternoon press conference that the administration might be close to securing safe passage through the Rafah crossing into Egypt for the American citizens trapped in Gaza, saying negotiators “have made good progress on this even in the past few hours” — but stopping just short of making any announcement.

“I will say that we are making very good progress on this issue. You may see have seen some reports that have moved from the region just in the last few hours about the possibility of Rafah gate opening tomorrow,” Miller said, without confirming the reports he mentioned.

At Monday’s White House briefing, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stated that Hamas has proposed certain conditions for permitting Americans to depart Gaza.

He noted that approximately hundreds of Americans are unable to leave the region, and “less than ten” individuals have been detained by Hamas.

Excerpt from White House transcript of Kirby at Monday’s briefing:

Q Okay. And then, related to that: Rafah Crossing — any new — any updates on getting people out through that corridor?

MR. KIRBY: Unfortunately, no. I mean, but as you heard Jake say yesterday in a var- — various set of interviews that he did, we’re working on this literally by the hour to try to do that. We know we have several hundred Americans that want to get out too, and we’re working on it.

(BREAK)

Q At last check, the administration is saying that Hamas was holding that up. Is that still the case? Is — what can you say with what exactly is holding up those negotiations as American families wait to see —

MR. KIRBY: Yeah.

Q — when those Americans are released?

MR. KIRBY: It — it is still the case. They’ve been making a series of demands that we’re not able to accede to. I know you’d like to know what those are, but I think in order to try to make some progress here, we’re going to preserve a little bit of that publicly.

But, yes, Hamas —

Q Is it —

MR. KIRBY: — is still the holdup. Israel was willing to let those Americans out. Egypt is willing to let them come out. The holdup is Hamas.

Q Would you say the biggest sticking point is fuel at this point still?

MR. KIRBY: Again, I — I won’t get into more detail than that.

(BREAK)

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: All right. James, in the back, you have the last question.

Q That’s very kind. Thank you very much. Two questions. First, on the hostages. More than three weeks have passed now since the original Hamas attack and the seizure of hostages. How many Americans have you confirmed in that time are actually hostages?

MR. KIRBY: Less than 10.

Q That’s not a number. I want a number from you.

MR. KIRBY: Less than 10.

Q Why can’t you give a number?

MR. KIRBY: James, I’ve given you an answer. What’s your next question?

Q You’ve given an answer. You haven’t been responsive. Let the record show.

Senator Blackburn joined a cohort of Republican senators in voicing disapproval of President Biden’s proposal to provide $9 billion in “humanitarian assistance” for Gaza.

The joint letter expressed concern that with the current rule by a terrorist organization, it is impossible to ensure proper oversight over the billions of dollars intended for Gaza.

Others supporting the letter are: Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Mike Braun (R-IN).

ICYMI: Israeli Business School Student Harassed on Harvard Campus During Gaza “Die-In”

Doug Goldsmith

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8 comments

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  • These Americans and their families must have been living over there?? If so, they must like Gaza, let them stay. I have no regard for Americans that don’t like The United States enough to live here. Somewhere else is always better! But when the Utopia gets rough, what’s the first thing they want…for the American government to bring them home. If they were not living over there, it seems strange that there would be so many families taking a vacation in the Gaza. We need more information about them.

    • You have no idea why they are there. They could be oil company employees, families of diplomatic staff, people visiting relatives who are not allowed to leave, etc. They are Americans being held hostage in a foreign country. That’s enough for me. And yes, I lived in different foreign countries for four years, as a United States soldier.

  • This is what you get when Biden is considered a clown to the world and his DEI/DNC government included along with worse yet to come. We have become the Rodney Dangerfield to the laughing world.

  • PERSONAL NOTE: NOT SO FAST MY FELLOW AMERICANS. AS AN OLD COUNTER-TERRORIST SOLDIER I WANT TO THANK SEVERAL FEMALE MEMBERS OF OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO INCLUDE THE VICE PRESIDENT, THE SQUAD, AND OTHERS AMONG THE RANKS OF AMERICAN IGNORAMUSES. THEY HAVE CLEARLY VERIFIED THE POINTS I HAVE TRIED TO DEMONSTRATE BELOW. OH, A PERSONAL NOTE TO EACH OF YOU LADIES. CAN PROMISE YOU WILL NOT HOLD YOUR CURRENT POSITIONS IF MUSLIMS COME TO POWER IN THE USA! AT BEST THEY MAY LET YOU STAND IN FRONT OF A CAMERA IN THE APPROPRIATE ATTIRE AND SPIT OUT THEIR PROPAGANDA!

    SOLDIER/COP/MERCENARY, RETIRED

    WHAT IS THE REAL ISLAMIC THREAT? America you had best wake up to the ‘Real’ Islamic threat! Why? Because for most of Western world’s so-called leaders (save one) have failed to adequately address the fact that the Islamic threat is not limited to Jews. As detailed below, one of the primary objectives detailed in Muslim doctrine is to ‘RID’ the world of ‘ALL’ non-believers!

    NOTE: The information presented herein has been submitted many times since 1982 by several of the U.S. Army officers who served on a counter-terrorism team charged by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs with assessing the threat to DOD personnel deployed overseas and developing strategy/tactics to combat the same. To date few Americans and their so-called leaders have given due attention to the ‘REAL’ threat presented by radical Muslims.

    Question: The Islamic State, the Nation of Islam, CARE, ISIS, HAMAS, and many other Muslim groups; what do they all have in common? Answer: They all have the same ultimate objectives!

    Those objectives are to: 1). Fully install Sharia as the only governing philosophy in the world, and 2). Install Muhammad as the last true prophet and his teachings supposedly inspired by the ‘truths’ delivered to him in a cave by Gabriel (an angel of the one and only God) sometime between 610 – 613 CE as the only law and religion of the land. Those same truths/teachings which became institutionalized in the Quran, the Hadith, and the Sira; are the three most important foundation documents providing the bases for Sharia.

    Per personal knowledge/experience gained as a military officer with many years of service in combating terrorism at the hands of various Muslim and other groups, I can inform all Americans willing to listen as to the reasons why I and many of my fellow officers have warned the American government many times as to why Islam is much different than any other religion/governing philosophy, and why ‘ALL’ Islamic groups present a significant threat to America and the so-called free world.

    The simple reason the Islamic State, the Nation of Islam, CARE, ISIS, HAMAS, etc. are so dangerous is the range of strategies/tactics they claim were/are mandated to be employed by the Prophet himself. If you doubt me just watch those individual Muslims who are implanted in the U.S. Congress as they deal with their comrades, the media, and the American people. I simply find it pitiful as to how unskilled they are at spreading their propaganda, yet their comrades in the government, the public, and the media seem oblivious to their true objectives. As an old ground combat/counter-terrorist soldier I would say this to their audiences; “I can’t believe you knuckleheads, you let the enemy walk up and kiss you right on the mouth before they gut you and/or cut your throat!”

    Don’t feel bad that most of you may have been so blind reference the threat from Islam and the range of their tactics (lie, cheat, steal, kill, whatever required to rid the world of non-believers). Mr. Reagan and most of his administration failed to give the threat they were provided by the army officers mentioned above in 1982 adequate attention. Even after two Muslim terrorists less than a year later in 1983 killed over 200 marines, several sailors, one soldier, and 40 French soldiers in Lebanon; our arrogance, lack of knowledge, and stupidity has continued to leave us to this day seriously ill prepared.

    Now the Muslim community can count among their best allies the American government, the America media, the American left, Academia, and the hordes of simply ignorant deniers! Don’t believe me? Ask yourself, why does our government prosecute conservatives, Christians, Jews, etc., to one standard yet permit Muslims and other left wing groups to virtually rampage across the nation with little consequences?

    If you are one of the ill informed don’t fret too much. I am offering free classes to teach the eight prayers you need to learn in order to start your personal conversion to Islam. Oh, you will need to bring your own rug.

    Final Note: Would you like to know the primary tactic the team of army officers mentioned above presented to the Reagan administration in 1982? Their basic tactic was: “In that the best defense is a good offense we must kill the terrorists in their beds before they kills us in ours!”

    Soldier/Cop/Mercenary, Retired

  • As usual Communist Democrats will want to send $billions of taxpayers money to Hamas making them stronger in return for a handful of Americans and America never used to give into the demands of Terrorists, until the most hateful, Anti-Constitution, Anti-American homosexual Muslim Barack Hussein Obama gave $billions to Iran and for the release of the Traitor Bo Burgdole.
    Just keep voting Communist Democrats it’s guaranteed America will be destroyed once and for all.

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