November 16, 2023

Duckworth: I Will Not Lose Focus on Safe Release of All Hostages Held by Hamas


[WASHINGTON, DC] – After meeting with American families of hostages being held by Hamas including the parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, an Israeli-American who has not been heard from since he was taken hostage after losing his arm in the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7th despite clearly needing immediate medical attention, U.S. Senator and member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tammy Duckworth underscored the need for all parties to remain laser-focused on the safe return of all hostages being held by Hamas while also working to enhance humanitarian pause windows and deliver humanitarian aid to innocent civilians suffering in Gaza. Duckworth issued following statement:

“Since October 7th, the civilized world has been haunted by the faces of the hundreds of innocent human beings taken hostage by Hamas and by the faces of the thousands of innocent Palestinian children buried in rubble. We’ve been haunted by the faces of all the Israelis massacred on the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust and by the face of six-year-old Illinoisan Wadea Al-Fayoume, who was brutally murdered on American soil, just because he was Muslim.”

“As horrified as I am by these compounding travesties, witnessing the bravery and hearing the stories this week of the American families of those still being held hostage—including the parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, Jon Polin and Rachel Goldberg, who are from Chicago—only strengthens my resolve to bring about the safe return of all Hamas hostages. These families deserve so much more recognition for everything they are doing for every hostage, not just for their own loved ones.

“We must act with urgency to expand humanitarian pause windows and secure urgent medical treatment for the hostages, push for the sustained flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza while also ensuring that our Israeli partners have the defensive resources they need to prevent another October 7th massacre, consistent with the laws of armed conflict.

“As we do so, we cannot—and I will not—lose sight of the suffering of these families. Our nation—and all civilized people—must remain laser-focused on ensuring the safe return of all hostages. I want to thank President Biden for prioritizing those efforts, and I committed to these families that I will do everything in my power to bring them home as well.”