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Ernst, Rosen Call for Fully Leveraging Relationship with Qatar to Release Hostages

Nearly three months since Hamas took hostages.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) called on President Joe Biden to leverage the U.S. diplomatic 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.

Read the full letter here.


In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks on Israel by Iran-backed Hamas, Ernst met with hostage families in Israel.

Following the attacks, Ernst led her colleagues in urging President Biden to continue putting his full attention on the freeing of American hostages that were taken by Hamas during its attacks on Israel and supporting Israel’s efforts to dismantle the threat of Hamas.