WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding an agreement reached to secure the release of mostly women and children abducted by Hamas during the terrorist attack in Israel on October 7, 2023.
The announcement comes days after Chair Cardin and Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) hosted a meeting in the U.S. Capitol for dozens of family members of hostages as part of an ongoing effort to elevate their voices and call for the immediate release of all hostages. American and Israeli families in attendance met with a bipartisan group of Senators to share stories about their loved ones, as well as their own traumatic experiences of escaping the Hamas terrorist attacks.
“The agreement reached today to release some hostages is a hopeful signal for some of the American and Israeli families whose lives have been shattered in the wake of the October 7 terrorist attack against Israel. It also allows for a multi- day pause to allow for the increased delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid for innocent civilians in Gaza, which we also see as critical to be clear that Israel’s fight is with Hamas, not with innocent Palestinians in Gaza.
“The heartbreaking stories shared by these brave families provided us a glimpse into the living nightmare they’ve experienced every day since their loved ones were forcibly taken by terrorists on October 7. In the face of unimaginable trauma and constant uncertainty, my Senate colleagues and I were struck by their unwavering resolve, compassion, and grace. Their words moved us, their strength inspired us, and their desire to be reunited with their family members was shared by all. We hope we gave them a sense of assurance that they are not alone in their pain, and that the United States will not give up until all those taken return home.
“Their message to us was clear: the United States must continue to fight to bring their loved ones back, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We hope to build on today’s agreement, and will work with our partners to ensure every avenue is pursued to secure the safe return of all the hostages.”
For a download link of photos of Chair Cardin meeting with families of the hostages, click HERE.