The toddler’s parents were slaughtered by the Palestinian terror group during the October 7 massacre inside Israeli territory that saw 1,200 civilians killed and around 200 people taken hostage including at least nine Americans.
In a call with Qatar‘s leader Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani on Sunday, Biden ‘condemned unequivocally the holding of hostages by Hamas, including many young children, one of whom is a three-year old American citizen toddler, whose parents were killed by Hamas on October 7th.’
The White House statement added: ‘The two leaders agreed that all hostages must be released without further delay.’
It comes amid warnings from Congress that some of the hostages could be held by other terror factions, raising a nightmare scenario for negotiators. Only four prisoners have been released so far.
A three-year-old American orphan is believed to be among the hostages held by Hamas after his parents were slaughtered, the White House has revealed. (Pictured: militants riding an Israeli military jeep in Gaza following the October 7 attack)
The toddlers unnamed parents were killed by the Palestinian terror group during the October 7 massacre which saw the militants wipe out around 1,200 civilians in Israel. (Pictured: civilians flee the terror attack near Kibbutz Urim in southern Israel on October 7)
President Joe Biden spoke with Qatar ‘s leader Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani about the harrowing developments on Sunday, and the White House issued a news release showing they discussed the missing American toddler
Florida Rep Jared Moskowitz – who was part of a US delegation to Tel Aviv at the weekend – told ABC’s This Week: ‘The hostages are in number of places, some are in the tunnels, some are not in the tunnels.
‘As it turns out some of the hostages might be kept by not Hamas – it might not be Islamic Jihad who have some of these hostages, it might be some of the citizens of Gaza.’
White House security adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed nine Americans are still missing in Gaza.
‘There are ongoing negotiations involving the Israelis, the Qataris, and we, the United States, are actively engaged in this as well,’ he told ABC.
‘We want to make sure that we bring home those Americans who have been taken hostage as well as all of the other hostages.’
Sullivan said it’s unknown how many hostages are still alive – but added: ‘There are nine missing American citizens as well as a missing legal permanent [resident], a green card holder.’
‘That’s the number that we are trying to ensure the safe return of, and we have been engaging with the families.
‘In fact, I will personally be seeing family members of the American hostages this coming week.’
Qatar’s government earlier said Al Thani had stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the permanent opening of the Rafah crossing into Egypt in the call with Biden.
Washington has rejected calls from Arab leaders and others for it to pressure Israel into halting its assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip which has so far killed more than 11,000 Palestinians.
In the US and around the world, thousands of people have taken to the streets in protests to demand a ceasefire, but Netanyahu has said this won’t happen until all hostages are released.
As of Sunday, Hamas has released just four of the prisoners, including American nationals Natalie Shoshana Raanan, 17, and her mother Judith Tai Raanan, 59.
Florida Democrat Rep Jared Moskowitz, who was among a US delegation which met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv at the weekend, warned that some hostages could be held by terror groups beyond Hamas
Palestinians wave their national flag and celebrate by a destroyed Israeli tank at the Gaza Strip fence east of Khan Younis southern Saturday, October 7, 2023
Netanyahu said he still has daily contact with US President Joe Biden, and also has the ‘political and ethical support’ of the American administration.
But the Arab and Muslim world called for an immediate end to military operations in Gaza, rejecting Israel’s justification of self-defense.
A communique issued at the summit urged the International Criminal Court to investigate ‘war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel is committing.’