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  • Theresa Opeka / Carolina Journal

Budd, Tillis to host family of NC native being held hostage by Hamas at the State of the Union


North Carolina Republican US Sens. Ted Budd and Thom Tillis will host the family of Chapel Hill native Keith Siegel at President Joe Biden’s State of Union Address on Thursday.

Siegel is one of six Americans still being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza during Israel’s war with Hamas, which attacked the kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7. He and his wife, Adrienne “Aviva” Siegel, who was released in late November, were humanitarian workers living in Kfar Aza, a kibbutz hit particularly hard in the brutal Hamas attacks.


Keith’s sister Lucy and niece Hanna have accepted the senators’ invitation.


Traditionally, each U.S. Senator can invite a guest to attend the address in person.


“It is my honor to host the family of North Carolina native Keith Siegel at the State of the Union, Budd said in a press release. “The American people cannot forget that six of our fellow citizens are still being held hostage by Hamas terrorists for more than 150 days. The ordeal that these families are going through is horrifying, and I will continue working as hard as I can to see that these Americans are released and returned to their families.”


Budd got a firsthand look in January at the devastation left by Hamas terrorists during the Oct. 7 massacre at Kibbutz Nir Oz in Israel, along with a bipartisan, bicameral congressional delegation (CODEL) to the Middle East.


“Keith and Aviva Siegel were horrifically taken from their home and kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7th attack,” Tillis added in the press release. “While it is a great relief that Aviva has been released, we are still working to secure Keith’s freedom from Hamas captivity. As the terrorist organization Hamas continues its brutal reign over the Palestinian people, we must continue to work to ensure they can never return to power and release all the remaining hostages, including many Americans alongside Keith.”


President Joe Biden is expected to deliver the State of the Union Address to the American people at 9 pm Thursday. US Sen. Katie Britt, R-AL, is expected to give the GOP response.

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