Hollywood Stars Plead for Release of Hostages Held by Hamas

Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Amy Schumer, Jordan Peele, Debra Messing signed a letter calling for the release of hostages taken by Hamas. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Hundreds of Hollywood stars and executives signed an open letter to President Joe Biden on Monday, expressing “overwhelming concern” for the 220 people taken hostage when Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

The letter was signed by Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Amy Schumer, Jordan Peele, Debra Messing, David Schwimmer, Bradley Cooper, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tyler Perry, Israeli actress Gal Gadot, and many more entertainment insiders.

The document praised Biden for his handling of the worsening Israeli-Hamas war, and urged the White House to step up efforts to help secure the release of the hostages.

“Thank you for your unshakable moral conviction, leadership, and support for the Jewish people,” read the letter to Biden. “We urge everyone to not rest until all hostages are released. No hostage can be left behind.

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The letter is part of a campaign in Hollywood called #NoHostageLeftBehind, which includes a new website. According to published reports, the campaign is spearheaded by Gal Gadot and Amy Schumer.

“We all want the same thing: Freedom for Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace. Freedom from the brutal violence spread by Hamas,” the letter stated.

The document went on to criticize Hamas for its “savage massacre” carried out against Israel, leaving at least 1400 people dead.

The letter did not mention the more than 5,000 Palestinians who’ve lost their lives since Israel launched retaliatory attacks against Hamas.

A Monday report from the World Health Organization said the death toll in Gaza includes 35 members of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The document was published on the same day Hamas released two elderly Israeli women who were being held captive.

The women, 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz and 79-year-old Nurit Cooper, were shown in footage broadcast by ABC News as they were loaded into ambulances at the border with Egypt by Red Cross workers. ABC reported the women were abducted from their homes and their husbands are still being held captive.

Hamas released video of hostage handover as well, showing heavily-armed militants escorting the women over to representatives from the Red Cross, which helped secure the women’s release.

Two Israeli-American hostages, a mother and daughter from Illinois, were released on Friday.

CNN reports the Biden administration is pressuring Israel to delay its ground offensive as negotiators work to free more hostages and get humanitarian aid into Gaza.