Rosen, Ernst Call on Administration to Fully Leverage Relationship with Qatar to Release Hostages Held By Hamas

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) sent a bipartisan letter calling on President Biden to leverage the U.S. relationship with Qatar to secure the immediate release of the remaining hostages held in Gaza by Hamas, including eight Americans.

“We appreciate Qatar’s efforts so far to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and their commitment to continue coordinating efforts to release all remaining hostages,” the lawmakers wrote. “However, we are concerned that Qatar is not fully utilizing its leverage to seek further concessions from Hamas. Therefore, we ask that you make clear to Qatar that the United States is closely watching ongoing hostage negotiations and convey that Qatar’s inability to deliver on its commitments regarding the safe return of all remaining hostages will significantly impact bilateral relations.”

In the letter, the lawmakers point out that the majority of American hostages have been left in Gaza, and Hamas has refused to provide proof of life or allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to deliver urgently needed medical care to any of the hostages.

“Time is of the essence to free the hostages – and every diplomatic option must be on the table to secure their release. Hamas alone is responsible for the health and safety of those it is holding captive. Given Qatar’s unique ability to influence Hamas, it is imperative that Doha understands our expectation that negotiations result in the release of all remaining hostages,” the lawmakers continued.

Full letter can be found HERE.

Following Hamas’s terror attacks on Israel, Senator Rosen has been leading the push to free the hostages being held by Hamas. Earlier this year, the Senate unanimously passed Senator Rosen’s bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas’s terrorist attack, demanding that it immediately release all hostages, and calling on the United States to lead a global effort to free all hostages. Senator Rosen introduced this resolution following a bipartisan visit to Israel, where she met with families of those taken hostage by Hamas. She also urged the Senate to approve supplemental funding for Israel’s defense. Senator Rosen also successfully led a bipartisan group of senators in urging the Department of Defense to transfer additional Iron Dome batteries and other unused military assets to Israel.