Seven Months Later, Five Americans Are Still Being Held by Hamas

Vered Barequet /
Vered Barequet /

When Hamas invaded Israel on October 7th, 2023, they unleashed a day of violence and aggression not seen since the Holocaust. Killing 1,200 people and taking over 250 hostages, their tactics took Israelis and those visiting the country by surprise. Now, months after, around 130 hostages are still being held, and not all of them can be confirmed as alive.

Keith Siegel, 65, Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35, Omer Neutra, 22, Edan Alexander, 20, and Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, are all still reported as being held hostage.

For the families of these hostages, little to no updates about their current health condition or even proof of life is being offered. Much like family members of POWs taken in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam, their limited updates come in the form of messages passed through official government channels. This means family members have spent weeks by their phones waiting on updates that simply aren’t coming.

American lawmakers find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, both by policy and in the court of public opinion. Naturally, our lame-duck President, Joe Biden, has done little to help bring them home. Refusing to negotiate with Hamas for their freedom, he has instead frequently supplied Israel with arms and, at the same time, sent aid relief to Gaza. Considering how Hamas continues to steal and plunder this aid, it adds up to billions of dollars wasted with no positive results.

Being left behind by the American government is something those who sign up to serve our country expect a possibility of. They know the legends of being forgotten in some god-forsaken land. Accepting this possibility, they still join to defend the American way of life. However, these Americans in Israel rightfully expect their country to bring them home. After all, if Biden can get Griner out of Russia after smuggling weed oil, all while helping Ukraine attack them, he could get Americans back from Gaza one way or another.