Blinken Says US Has ‘Pretty Strong Idea’ Some Missing Americans Are Held Hostage

( – On Oct. 23, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that at least some of the 10 missing Americans from the Oct. 7 attack in Israel are believed to be hostages of Hamas that are being held captive in Gaza.

During his appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press, Blinken stated that it is believed a “significant number” of the missing Americans are being held hostage, though it remains uncertain if any of the missing are dead. He added that “we have a pretty strong idea” that some of the 10 “unaccounted for Americans” are being held hostage in Gaza.

During the Oct. 7 attack in Israel, more than 1,400 people were killed, and at least 210 people were taken hostage by Hamas. Blinken described the attack as a “slaughter,” adding that Israel continues to find people who were killed in the attack.

On Oct. 20, two American nationals who had been held hostage by Hamas were released. Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie Raanan, 17, were taken from the Nahal Oz kibbutz on Oct. 7 and held captive by Hamas.

Following Qatari and Egyptian mediation, two more hostages being held by Hamas, Israeli citizens Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, were also released on October 23. The two were taken hostage by the Nir Oz kibbutz community on Oct. 7.

In an Oct. 21 video posted to social media, President Joe Biden spoke with the two American nationals. In the video, Biden said, “We’re going to get them all out, God willing.” Since the attack, Biden has called on Hamas to release the hostages being held in Gaza.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby stated that Hamas’ first move, before any talks of a ceasefire, needs to be the release of all the hostages.

A team of special operations forces was sent to Israel following the attacks to help with the intelligence and planning of the efforts to rescue the hostages. It is believed that Israel is preparing a ground incursion into Gaza to potentially rescue hostages.

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