Clinton urges hostage families to pressure Israeli government

Hillary Clinton takes swipe at Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the Israeli leader ‘is only busy with his survival’ politically.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the Forum of Families of Kidnapped Israelis and encouraged the families to put more pressure on their own government to make a deal with Hamas for their relatives’ freedom.

According to the group, Clinton said that U.S. President Joe Biden is trying to push for “a Christmas deal” for the release of at least some of the captives, but the Israeli government is lagging behind.

“Clinton encouraged us to mobilize public pressure because there are elements in the Israeli government who understand only politics,” one relative said.

She mentioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically, according to one participant, saying that he was only “busy with politics and personal survival.”

Clinton has been an outspoken advocate of Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas ever since the terror organization invaded Gazan envelope communities on October 7 and massacred 1,200 people, most of them civilians. She has also condemned their atrocities, including the mass use of rape during their rampage.

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Notwithstanding her support for the IDF’s fight to destroy the terrorist organization, she told the forum that the Hamas abductees’ release should take priority.

“Until the release of the hostages becomes the primary and immediate objective from Israel’s perspective, any statements or actions from me, others, or even President Biden is of little value,” she said, according to the group of relatives.

She listened closely to the families, who shared with her stories of their pain, expressed their fears regarding their kidnapped relatives’ safety and health, and pleaded for immediate action on the part of international organizations that have disappointed them, and all Israelis, with their indifference.

The 16 family representatives thanked Clinton for her support, and gave her a disc on a necklace that said “Our hearts are imprisoned in Gaza.” She in turn encouraged them, saying that the work they were doing “is so important and influential” and that “you need to keep doing it.”

Clinton vowed that she would continue doing everything she could to make a deal happen.

Various reports over the last several days have said that Israel and Qatar are negotiating over another hostages-for-Palestinian prisoners swap, but according to the London-based Al-Araby Al Jadeed, Hamas said Tuesday that is refusing to respond to any offers.

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