scene of Texas hostage crisis
scene of Texas hostage crisis REUTERS/Shelby Tauber

Israel's Consul General in the American Southwest, Livia Link-Ravivm spoke to 103FM Sunday following the release of all hostages at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.

"There is a great sense of relief. It is an ongoing negotiation that has been going on for hours," Link-Ravim said.

"Fortunately only four people were present at the scene, and they were taken hostage. The FBI managed to release within a few hours one of the hostages who was very old and later the security forces went inside and released the other three," she said.

"I can confirm that the kidnapper who took the hostages died at the time of the security forces' takeover," she concluded.

Four hostages were held by a gunman at Beth Israel Reform synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday, The hostage-taker claimed to be the brother Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman who was sentenced to 86 years in prison after she tried to murder American soldiers in 2008, and demanded her release in exchange for the hostages.

However, the Siddiqui family lawyer told ABC that the gunman is not her brother, and that her brother and the family are working to bring about her release in peaceful ways.

After a standoff which lasted most of the day, the gunman was killed and the hostages freed on Saturday night.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in response to the resolution of the hostage crisis: “I am relieved to hear that all hostages have been freed from Congregation Beth Israel in Texas and will be reunited with their loved ones.”

“Thank you to federal, state, & local law enforcement and first responders for your efforts.

“This terrible incident is another example of the continuing danger posed by antisemitism. Jews must be able to worship without fear.

“Jewish communities around the world are our family, and we stand together in the fight against antisemitism,” Lapid said.

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