On Wednesday, North Carolina Republican US Sen. Ted Budd called for a halt to any humanitarian aid to Gaza until every American hostage, including those from North Carolina, are home safe. 

“One aspect of the Oct. 7 attack [on Israel] that continues to this day is the plight of the more than 200 innocent people currently being held hostage in Gaza, including several Americans, including some from my own state of North Carolina,” he said on the Senate floor. “Madam President, last week I met with some of these families here in Washington. They told me stories about their loved ones, and they gave me their photos.”

Budd didn’t mention any specific names but said the fear and the heartache that the families are suffering is something that no American should ever have to face.

He said that while the United States must “stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel and support them, now is the time to rethink U.S. policy when it comes to Hamas government in Gaza.”

“Beginning with their founding charter, the ideology of Hamas is motivated by antisemitism and genocidal intentions toward the Jewish people,” Budd said. “In fact, the Hebrew word Hamas means ‘violence.’ Since Hamas took power in the Gaza Strip in 2006, they have continued this violence and terrorism against Israel and their allies.” 

Budd said he doesn’t believe that it’s right to give a dime of taxpayer money to the terrorists that are holding Americans, including North Carolinians, hostage. He said when the funding package comes to the floor, he plans to offer several amendments to hold all humanitarian American aid to Gaza until every American hostage is home. 

He also says that the US and other countries should go one step further.

“US and other foreign humanitarian aid should no longer be used as a crutch for Hamas to hold on to power,” Budd stated. “The United States shouldn’t be giving any money to Gaza until Hamas is no longer the de facto government. For the sake of innocent Israelis, innocent Palestinians, and for the future of peace in the Middle East, we must stop propping up such an evil regime with US aid.”

Fox News reports that as many as 7,900 people have been killed in the war on both sides, including at least 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers, and 33 Americans. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says at least 6,546 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and more than 17,439 wounded. At least 10 Americans are feared to be among the 224 people held captive by Hamas.