Biden’s $6 billion ransom payment to Iran motivates Hamas to take more American hostages
Iran-backed Hamas has been all too eager to take Jewish people hostage in Israel as part of its brutal attacks on the country, but they have 6 billion reasons to take American hostages in particular after Iran got a huge payout as part of a prisoner exchange deal reached with the Biden administration last month.
Under the deal, $6 billion worth of Iran’s assets that had been frozen in South Korea were unfrozen and transferred to bank accounts in Qatar in exchange for the release of five detained Americans. While the Biden administration insists that the money may only be used for humanitarian efforts, it means that a considerable amount of money has been freed up and Iran is now in a better position financially to support the terrorists.
In addition to freeing up billions of dollars, this deal taught Iran that taking Americans is a profitable endeavor, and it’s something that their proxies in Hamas likely have in mind as they kidnap innocent men, women and children from Israel. We know that at least 11 Americans have been killed in the attacks, and President Biden has admitted it is likely that American citizens are among those taken hostage by Gaza terrorists.
In a statement, Biden announced: “While we are still working to confirm, we believe it is likely that American citizens may be among those being held by Hamas. I have directed my team to work with their Israeli counterparts on every aspect of the hostage crisis.”
The parents of one American who was kidnapped, 19-year-old Itay Chen, have been pleading with Biden to bring him home safely. Chen is a dual American-Israeli citizen born and raised in New York City who has been serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). His family, who now live in Israel, say they were notified by the IDF that he is considered as Missing In Action, which means he has not been identified by any officer in the last 36 hours, nor has he been identified as deceased or found in a hospital, making it highly likely he is a prisoner of war.
Numerous videos have emerged showing Hamas militants killing Israeli soldiers and civilians, with other footage showing them taking people hostage and bringing them into Gaza, where they are being held in hideouts. The terrorists have said that they intend to start murdering the hostages if Israel targets civilians without warning in Gaza.
Experts fear $6 billion ransom will drive more kidnappings of Americans
Former National Security Adviser to President Trump, Robert C. O’Brien, was afraid of this exact scenario when the Biden administration paid Iran the $6 billion ransom, which he believes encourages further hostage taking. O’Brien served as a special presidential envoy for hostage affairs and helped to secure the release of Americans kidnapped abroad during his tenure.
Posting on X, he lamented: “While welcoming our Iran hostages home, I said at the time — paying ransom (e.g. unfreezing $6 billion) is problematic because it incentivizes new hostage taking & gives terrorists money for new operations. I didn’t think we would see these points illustrated so vividly, so quickly.”
A group of senators led by Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) is asking Biden to freeze the $6 million that was recently unfrozen, noting in a letter: “To stand by and allow Iran access to these funds as Hamas infiltrates Israel and murders, rapes and mutilates countless Israelis is unconscionable.”
They added: “Moreover, allowing $6 billion to flow into Iran’s economy, even if the purpose is for humanitarian aid, allows the Iranian regime to reallocate even more funds to supporting terrorism.”
While the fate of so many Americans remains unknown and Hamas continues its savage attack on Israel, the Biden White House held a barbecue for staff featuring a live band in a callous display of where their priorities are right now.
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