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Shaheen Statement on Deal to Release 50 Hostages from Gaza

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), senior member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, issued the following statement after the U.S. helped broker a deal between Israel and Hamas for the release of 50 hostages, all of them women and children and potentially three Americans, that have been held in Gaza since the brutal Hamas terrorist attack on October 7th that killed more than 1,200 civilians and took more than 240 people hostage, which reportedly includes as many as 13 American citizens.

“I welcome the announcement that 50 hostages will be released and allowed to return to their families. This hard-won agreement is the result of tireless negotiations and diplomacy, but it is not the end—more than one hundred innocent civilians are still being held hostage by Hamas in the aftermath of the savage terrorist attack on October 7. Having worked on numerous hostage cases, I know the agony and anguish that families experience as they face the unimaginable pain and uncertainty of being separated from their loved ones. Every effort must be made to secure the freedom of the remaining hostages and we must pull on every lever to get all Americans back home immediately,” said Shaheen.

“As part of this deal, there will be a temporary pause in fighting. During that time, I hope humanitarian aid, including water, food and fuel, can be delivered quickly to directly support life-sustaining services for civilians in Gaza,” Shaheen continued.

Shaheen is a strong supporter of Israel and has utilized her leadership on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Appropriations Committees to bolster support for Israel and its people. She voted to confirm Jack Lew to the position of U.S. Ambassador to Israel. In response to the horrific terror attack on October 7, Shaheen swiftly condemned Hamas and called for enduring support for Israel. She also joined letters calling for the release of the American hostages in Gaza, support for a strong humanitarian response in Gaza and a safe pathway to safety for Americans stuck in Gaza. She has urged the Biden administration to encourage Israel to provide more detailed information on its strategy to defeat Hamas while protecting innocent civilians in Gaza.