Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley reiterated her support for Israel on Friday while also cautioning the Biden administration to “be smart” regarding Qatari mediation efforts that led to the release of two American hostages — a mother and daughter — by Hamas.
The hostages, identified as Judith and Natalie Raanan, were taken by Hamas from the Nahal Oz kibbutz in southern Israel near the Gaza Strip and released “on humanitarian grounds” following Qatari intervention.
“The second thing I’ll say to the Biden administration is don’t fall for it. This is you know, I have dealt with Qatar in terms of trying to get hostages or actually hostage bodies out of Gaza,” Haley told “America Reports” co-anchor Sandra Smith on Friday. “This is what they do. They’re trying to earn favor with the United States.”
At least 11 more Americans remain unaccounted for.
Haley said Hamas is worried about a potential Israeli ground operation and that “they’re going to throw two hostages out there for one to see if they can weaken us to keep Israel from going into Gaza,” said Haley, who was wearing a sweater with the phrase, “She Who Dares Wins.”
“Who Dares Wins” is the motto of the Sayeret Matkal, an elite Israeli paratrooper unit.
“This is a time to be smart. Go in smart,” Haley said. “Don’t let this weaken us. Don’t fall for it. We’ve got 200 more hostages in there. And don’t forget what happened on Oct. 7. They want everybody to forget. We can never forget. Israel needs to stay focused, determined, and America needs to have their back.”
Haley, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President Trump, has been steadfast in her support for Israel since the deadly attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas.
“Nikki proudly stands with Israel and its fight for peace,” Ken Farnaso, a spokesman for Haley, told Fox News Digital. “At the UN, she warned about Hamas and stood up for Israel — and she’ll do the same as president. We need a leader who will stand with Israel not only when it is hit, but also when it hits back.”
The Squad, a group of progressive House Democrats, continued calls Friday for a ceasefire, citing Israel’s bombardment of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The group has been heavily criticized for appearing to place the blame for the attacks on Israel.
“The squad acts like the terrorists,” Haley said. “Here they are, and they’re basically mimicking pro-Hamas comments. They refuse to acknowledge the bloodshed and the torture and the terrorists that have caused all of this.”
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