Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

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Netanyahu adviser explains why he’s ‘not surprised’ Americans weren’t among Hamas hostages released

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After Hamas released 13 of 50 agreed upon hostages Friday, a top adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained why he is not surprised American citizens being held by the Palestinian terror group were not among those freed.

Mark Regev, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, told FOX News in addition to those Israeli nationals released were a separate group of Thai nationals, but no U.S. citizens.

“We weren’t taken by surprise [that no Americans were released]. We know that the Thais were speaking directly to the Iranians,” he said. “And as you know, Iran is the primary funder of Hamas… it’s part of their axis of terror. t’s clear that if Iran asks Hamas to do something, they will do it.” 

Regev said Thailand’s government had been in touch separately with Tehran, which was also reported by an England-based Arabic news site quoted by the Times of Israel.

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Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin tweeted Friday that 12 of his country’s citizens have been released.

Regev said one young American girl is still being held by Hamas, which he suggested belied the terror group’s claim they will focus on releasing women and children.

“She fits into all the character categories… She needs to be prioritized. And I hope that she gets out very, very soon,” he said.

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He added that Israel is intentionally keeping certain hostage-related information private until the actual releases happen. Israel gets a manifest of soon-to-be-released hostages and shares them only with family members until there is hard evidence those are the people who have been released.

Regev, however, thanked the U.S. government for its help in the hostage release, but noted the current agreement states 50 people will be released within the next four days, meaning there are still 37 purportedly left to be freed in a short time.

“We have to look at the list we received today and make sure that Hamas is, in fact, keeping its part of the arrangement and that the list does include women and children,” he said.

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Friday’s hostage release however also belies Hamas’ claim that it’s bloody invasion targeted military venues and individuals, Regen argued, citing a 70-year-old woman and elementary-school-aged children among those released.

“Hamas, in all its public statements, said their horrendous, horrific attacks of October 7 were against military targets; their words, not mine. And yet they’re releasing today elderly women, and children under the age of ten,” Regev said.

“I think there’s a lesson here for the media and for everybody: You can’t take at face value anything Hamas says.”

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