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Hamas using innocent civilians as political pawns, says mother of journalist killed by ISIS

Murdered American journalist James Foley's mother Diane condemns the "horrifying" acts in Israel and Gaza, claiming terrorists "take innocents as political pawns."

After experiencing unspeakable emotions in the hostage-taking of her son, one mother and activist is witnessing similarities between her family’s tragedy and the ongoing conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip.

"As Americans, we need to be wary when we travel," Diane Foley said on "Mornings with Maria" Wednesday. "We need to know how to keep ourselves safe. And one of our big goals is, we must deter hostage-taking, particularly. It's a heinous activity when they take innocents as political pawns, and this is what we see happen."

"We have freedoms that the rest of the world [would] die for," she continued. "We are so blessed in so many ways, and we need to cherish the many freedoms we have. But when we travel elsewhere, of course, people want to take advantage, are jealous of it, or want it for themselves.

Foley’s son, James, was a journalist covering the Syrian civil war before being captured by terrorists and held hostage for 21 months. James was later killed by ISIS in 2014, and his mother now leads the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation to advocate for the safe return of Americans.


Speaking during a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stressed that while at least 20 Americans are missing in Israel, it doesn't mean they're being held hostage.

"We believe that there are 20 or more Americans who at this point are missing. But I want to underscore and stress, that does not mean necessarily that there are 20 or more American hostages. Just that is the number who are currently unaccounted for," Sullivan said.

He added that the number of Americans being held hostage by Hamas is currently unknown.

Foley expressed hope that it’s the Biden administration’s "highest priority" to bring potential hostages home safely.

"Nothing worked out with Jim. It was not a priority to get the Americans out," the mother reflected. "However, thanks to the work of many good people and the Foley Foundation, it has become more of a priority. President Biden has said it, all administrations since that happened to Jim, have prioritized this."

"I feel it's essential that we prioritize the safety of our people," Foley continued. "That is the duty of any government. So I feel our government must do all they can to find the American citizens and bring them out, as Israel must do for their own."

Watching the conflict and violence unfold, Foley further explained how the Israel-Hamas war brings back feelings she experienced during her son’s situation.

"It's just that same awful hatred coming through, particularly the targeting of innocents. It's just so horrifying," she said.

The mother and activist emphasized her reliance on faith and good people around their family to help "through it all."


"I think that's the only way any of us can get through this kind of horror. The good has to triumph through all this evil."

As the war enters its fifth day, FOX News Digital has reported at least 1,000 Israelis, 830 Palestinians and 14 Americans have died, with nearly 7,000 people injured.


FOX News’ Adam Sabes and Ashlyn Messier contributed to this report.

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