Trump criticizes U.S. leadership as American hostages remain under Hamas captivity

The expectation, set by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, is that 50 hostages will be freed by Hamas within this period, and in return, Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Trump criticizes U.S. leadership as American hostages remain under Hamas captivity
AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.
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Amid criticism on Hamas not releasing American hostages, new images revealed that U.S. citizen Avigail Idan, 4, has been reunited with surviving members of her family.

Hamas freed 17 hostages on Saturday and 24 on Friday, but none included the 10 Americans detained at the time, including Idan, a dual American and Israeli citizen. This development occurred during a four-day ceasefire agreed upon by Israel and Hamas, reports Fox News.

The expectation, set by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, is that 50 hostages will be freed by Hamas within this period, and in return, Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners.

"Has anybody noticed that Hamas has returned people from other countries but, so far, has not returned one American Hostage?" said former U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend. He claimed there is only one reason for that: "No respect for our country or our leadership." 

Two American citizens had previously been freed by Hamas on October 20, but no further releases of U.S. nationals occurred since that date.

However, a photo released by the Israeli prime minister's office Monday showed Idan with her aunt Liron and grandmother Shlomit at the Hatzerim base, following their release. Idan's parents, Roy Idan and Smadar Idan, died following a fatal firefight on October 7.

During a holiday in Nantucket, Massachusetts, President Biden expressed his continued expectation for the release of American hostages.

"We don't know when that will occur, but we're going to expect it to occur," he said on Friday. "We don't know what the list of all the hostages are and when they will be released, but we know the numbers that are going to be released. So, it's my hope and expectation it will be soon."

Following Sunday's hostage release, courtesy of the temporary ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, a fourth exchange is expected to take place before the ceasefire ends Tuesday. As part of the agreement, Israel has since released 39 Palestinian prisoners.

The Israeli government confirmed they have since informed the families of additional hostages who are expected to be freed Monday night. 

They have communicated with Hamas to extend the ceasefire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released. Hamas also hopes to extend the truce, as reported by the Associated Press.

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