December 29, 2023

Biden Expresses Grief Over Death of American Held by Hamas

President Joe Biden expressed sorrow over the reported death of Judith Weinstein, an American citizen believed to have been killed in the initial Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7.

In a statement on Thursday, Biden mourned the tragic loss of the 70-year-old Weinstein, who was identified as an American, Israeli, and Canadian national.

Initially believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas along with her 72-year-old husband Gad Haggai, Weinstein's death was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Nir Oz kibbutz, where the attack occurred.

Biden, alongside his wife Jill, conveyed their devastation over the news, particularly as it followed the recent announcement of Haggai's death.

In his statement, the president expressed deep sympathy, saying, "We are holding Judith and Gad’s four children, seven grandchildren, and other loved ones close to our hearts."

Biden also acknowledged the difficult situation faced by the families of Americans held hostage in Gaza, promising continued efforts to bring them home.

He emphasized the commitment to supporting these families and the shared pledge not to relent until their loved ones are safely returned.

Judith Weinstein's death has added to the complex challenges faced by the Biden administration, which is already under domestic pressure regarding its stance on Israel's military actions in Gaza.

Biden has reportedly conveyed to Democratic donors his concern about Israel's "indiscriminate" fighting in Gaza, cautioning that continued support could be jeopardized unless the situation is de-escalated.

This represents a shift from previous expressions of full support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's military campaign.

The Biden administration faces growing scrutiny over its approach to Hamas as it continues to hold Israeli and American hostages after attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 that marked the greatest assault on the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

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