On Sunday, prominent Jewish organizations in America, along with a leading Israeli counterterrorism expert, called on the United States, Germany, and Austria to grant citizenship to the more than 200 individuals currently held by Hamas in Gaza.
Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and the EU, took these individuals hostage during an attack in southern Israel on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people, including Americans.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO the New York City-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said:
The idea of issuing emergency citizenship and passports to hostages is not just a good idea for Germany and Austria, but is one that other nations, including the United States, should explore immediately. It is a moral imperative to utilize every tool in the toolbox to get these hostages out of the hands of Hamas terrorists and to safety.
A State Department spokesperson told Fox News that "We have been clear that all hostages should be immediately and unconditionally released. We are not going to go into details about ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages in Gaza, including Americans."
The spokesperson added that, "U.S. law does not permit the issuance of a U.S. passport to individuals who are not documented U.S. citizens or do not have a claim to U.S. citizenship. We are available to provide all appropriate consular assistance to U.S. citizen hostages."
The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) announced it "is urging Germany and Austria to take a leadership role and grant joint citizenship to Israelis that are currently held captive by Hamas."
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who holds the position of associate dean and is the director of global social action at the SWC, stated, "Every effort must be made to release innocent Israelis taken captive by Hamas. While the European Union meets to discuss so-called humanitarian pause, Germany and Austria should work to strengthen their show of support for Israel and grant dual citizenship as soon as possible."
The Wiesenthal Center, named after Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, reported that Hamas declared that "they will deal separately with Israelis who have joint citizenship."