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Father of service member killed during botched Afghanistan withdrawal arrested after interrupting Biden’s SOTU

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During President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address Thursday night, Gold Star father Steve Nikoui was arrested. Nikoui stood up from his seat in the chamber’s House Galleries and shouted “Abbey Gate” and “13 Marines” before he was removed. Nikoui is the father of Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, who was one of 13 service members killed in the ISIS-K bombing on August 26, 2021, near the Kabul International Airport as the U.S. carried out its withdrawal from Afghanistan and handed control of the country to the Taliban.

“Tonight at approximately 10:15 p.m., a man disrupted the State of the Union Address by yelling,” Capitol Police said in a statement provided to NR. “Our officers told him to stop and when he did not, the man was removed from the House Galleries and was arrested for D.C. Code § 22–1307 – Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding. Disrupting the Congress and demonstrating in the Congressional Buildings is illegal. The man has been identified as 51-year old Steven K. Nikoui.”

Representative Scott Perry (R., Pa.) told NR that, though he understands the gold star father’s frustration, he thought Nikoui’s behavior was out of place in the House chamber.

“Well, we have we tried to maintain some standard of decorum in the chamber, so maybe he’s frustrated. Maybe he feels his voice is being suppressed,” Perry said. “There’s a lot of that going on in America, particularly for those on the right and maybe he’s one of those. I don’t know. But there’s a time and a place for everything. We want to maintain some level of you know, standards in the chamber. So there are other ways to get your message out.”

National Review writes:

The families of those who lost their lives in the attack have remained consistent critics of the Biden administration’s handling of the pullout and its response to their children’s deaths. Multiple Gold Star parents testified at an August congressional hearing that the service members stationed at Abbey Gate were aware of the bomber’s presence but that military officers would not authorize any on-the-ground action to neutralize the threat.

All parents of the 13 soldiers killed in the bombing have called on the Biden administration to provide answers about what happened during the withdrawal and one, Darin Hoover — whose son, also named Darin, was among the service members killed — told NR he wanted Biden to resign at an August event honoring the Gold Star families.

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Israel

Israeli Hostages Suffered Daily Abuse Under Hamas Captors, Says Treating Physician

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The four Israeli hostages rescued by Israeli security personnel on Saturday endured severe daily abuse during their captivity by Hamas terrorists, according to the physician overseeing their post-captivity treatment. Dr. Itai Pessach of the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan provided these insights in an interview with CNN’s Paula Hancocks on Monday, as reported by Foreign Desk News.

The hostages, identified as Noa Argamani (26), Almog Meir Jan (21), Andrey Kozlov (27), and Shlomi Ziv (41), were abducted during the Supernova music festival amid the October 7 rampage in southern Israel. They spent eight harrowing months confined in Nuseirat.

Dr. Pessach described their experience as “a harsh, harsh experience, with a lot of abuse, almost every day.” Despite appearing in good condition on local media, he noted that the hostages suffered significant physical and psychological impacts from their ordeal.

Dr. Pessach highlighted several detrimental effects on the hostages’ health:
– Psychological Stress: Prolonged mental trauma from daily abuse.
– Physical Abuse: Regular physical mistreatment by their captors.
– Insufficient Diets: Malnutrition from inadequate food supplies.
– Medical Neglect: Lack of necessary medical care.
– Limited Personal Movement: Confinement with little freedom to move.
– Lack of Sunlight: Deprivation of natural light, affecting their physical and mental well-being.

These factors collectively “left a significant mark on their health,” according to Dr. Pessach.

Dr. Pessach has experience treating other hostages released during negotiated ceasefire agreements with Gaza-based jihadists. The harrowing accounts of the recently freed Israeli hostages emphasizes the brutal conditions imposed by their Hamas captors.

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