A host of celebrities and entertainment professionals have signed an open letter to President Joe Biden calling for the release of hostages taken by Palestinian militant group Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S.
Bradley Cooper, Amy Schumer, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Rock, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Mila Kunis, Katy Perry, and Will Ferrell are just a few of the dozens of stars who have backed a new campaign called #NoHostageLeftBehind.
The Israel Defense Forces has said Hamas took 222 people hostage during its October 7 surprise attack on Israel. The Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, has estimated that between 200 and 250 prisoners were being held, most of them in Hamas custody, with the rest in the hands of other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.
In recent days, four hostages have been released in pairs by Hamas. A source who was briefed on the most recent release of two hostages—and who spoke with Newsweek on the condition of anonymity—said the deal was made possible via mediation by Qatar and Egypt.
As Israel presses on with its heaviest ever bombing campaign against the densely populated Palestinian territory, the Al-Qassam Brigades have stated that 22 detainees had been killed in Israeli airstrikes, a claim met with skepticism by the IDF. The group has also said it was willing to release non-Israeli captives once it was safe to do so.
Hollywood stars on Monday declared that in their desire to see “freedom for Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace,” they want all of the hostages, no matter where they hail from, to be released.
In their open letter to Biden, the entertainment professionals commended the president for his “unshakable moral conviction, leadership, and support for the Jewish people,” before urging “everyone to not rest until all hostages are released.”