Latest News 13-05-2024 04:01 6 Views

Mother of Hamas hostage says US shouldn’t be considered ‘neutral negotiator’: ‘America was also a victim’

The mother of a 23-year-old American among the 132 hostages who remain held by Hamas militants said Sunday that the U.S. should not be considered a 'neutral negotiator' and 'was also a victim' on Oct. 7.

On Mother’s Day, Rachel Goldberg-Polin, mother of 23-year-old Hersh Goldberg-Polin, said during an appearance on 'Fox News Sunday' that 'it's clear not enough is being done because we still have 132 cherished souls who are being held captive for 219 days, and within that cohort of 132 souls, there are the American 8.' 

Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall asked Goldberg-Polin whether she wanted to see ceasefire talks continue. 

'I think we really have to be creative and inciteful and figure out a way forward. Both sides really have to figure out a way forward, and calling for a timeout certainly will give some time for people to start to think straight again,' Goldberg-Polin said in response. 'I think really what gets lost in this is America should not be considered sort of this neutral negotiator. America was also a victim on Oct. 7. Forty-five Americans were killed on Oct. 7. Twelve were taken into captivity, and eight are still being held hostage.' 

'And I certainly want all the suffering in the region, and there’s so much suffering to go around, I mean there’s no competition here. There are hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza who are suffering, and there are also 132 innocent civilians in Gaza who were dragged there on Oct. 7 who are suffering. I think people have trouble holding those two truths, and that does an injustice to everyone involved,' she said. 

Goldberg-Polin said she did not believe most Americans know that American innocent civilians still remain held captive in Gaza, as do people from other nationalities around the world. 

'There are a lot of people in that hostage cohort that we don’t hear about,' she said. 'When we hear a lot of noise about the hostages being held you very rarely hear about the Muslim Arabs who are hostage, you very rarely hear about the Thai Buddhists who are hostage, you very rarely hear about the Black Christian Africans who are being held hostage. There’s Nepalese. There are Mexicans, there are Argentinians, there are Germans, and somehow there has been an attempt to make this group of people a monolithic, homogenous group.' 

'I find it curious and suspicious that for whatever reason, that has not been publicly saturating the news,' Goldberg-Polin added. 

'Do you think that an Israeli invasion into Rafah – do you think that perhaps that would put your son, put all these other hostages, their lives in danger? Hall also asked. 

'I’m not a military strategist,' Goldberg-Polin responded. 'I am a mother who is horribly, miserably worried about her only son who has been in an active war zone for 219 days, along with 131 other people.' 

She noted how the oldest remaining hostage is Shlomo Mansour an 86-year-old grandfather, while the youngest is Kfir Bibas, a one-and-a-half-year-old child. 

'We have daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, spouses, fathers, mothers, grandparents, and we are all horribly worried about our loved ones being in harm’s way,' she added. 

The Oct. 7 attack killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took another 250 hostage. Militants still hold about 100 captives and the remains of more than 30. Internationally mediated talks over a cease-fire and hostage release appear to be at a standstill.

Israeli forces pushed deeper into Gaza's southern city of Rafah on Sunday and battled Hamas in parts of the devastated north that the military said it had cleared months ago but where militants have regrouped, the Associated Press reported. Warnings continued against the growing offensive in Rafah, considered the last refuge in Gaza for more than a million civilians as well as Hamas' last stronghold. 

Some 300,000 people have fled Rafah following evacuation orders from Israel, which says it must invade to dismantle Hamas and return scores of hostages taken in the Oct. 7 attack against Israel that sparked the war. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated opposition to a major military assault on Rafah, telling CBS that Israel would 'be left holding the bag on an enduring insurgency' without an exit from Gaza and postwar governance plan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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