Biden Invites Families of Hamas Hostages to White House

( – President Joe Biden invited the families of those taken hostage by Hamas in the October 7th attacks on Israel to meet with him at the White House on Wednesday, December 13th. Though Biden has spoken with many of the families by video call back in October, this will be the first time they were invited to meet the president face-to-face.

The meeting will also include Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, as well as Jon Finer, the Deputy National Security Advisor. While four Americans have already been released from Hamas captivity, there are still eight Americans unaccounted for since the deadly Hamas attack in October.

The American hostages who were released are Judith Raanan and Natalie Raanan, who were released on October 20th. Liat Beinin, who acts as a tour guide for Israel’s Holocaust Museum, was released November 29th. Abigail Eden, who is only four years old and whose parents were killed during the attacks, was released November 29th as well.

The families are expected to push Biden to do more to release their loved ones from the clutches of terrorist group Hamas. According to the families, they have been in regular contact with the White House through Roger Carstens, Biden’s hostage envoy. While the American government has been communicative with the families, they said the Israeli government has not been so forthcoming with information or support.

Ruby Chen, the mother of 19-year-old Itay, who has been missing since the October 7th attacks, said after Russian President Vladimir Putin was able to secure the release of multiple Israeli-Russian hostages, it “opened her eyes” to the ability for governments of specific nations to broker a deal for hostages from their countries to be released. She said she will be asking Biden to do more to release her son.

Though several of the families had asked to be invited to the White House’s Hannukah celebration, they did not receive invites. However, Biden did mention the hostages at the Hannukah reception, saying he would fight for them until they are all home.

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