WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he believed a deal would be reached with Hamas to free hostages being held in the Gaza Strip, but did not offer details.
“I talked to the people involved every day. I believe it will happen, but I don’t want to get into the details,” Biden told reporters at the White House when asked about a possible deal.
Asked if he had a message for the families of those held by the Palestinian group, he said: “Hold on. We are coming.”
Nine Americans and a US resident are among about 240 people taken hostage by Hamas fighters last month as they crossed the border to carry out the deadliest attack in Israeli history.
Hamas says it will free foreign hostages ‘in the next few days’
“I can’t look you in the eye and tell you how many of these hostages are still alive,” US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said at a news conference on Monday.
The October 7 Hamas attack left around 1,200 dead on the Israeli side, mostly civilians, according to the latest official Israeli figures.
Gaza’s health ministry, which is run by Hamas, says Israel has killed 11,240 people, mostly civilians, including thousands of children, in a merciless reprisal attack.
On Tuesday, Qatar called on Israel and Hamas to accept its offer to mediate in reaching a deal.
The US has repeatedly asked for a pause in the fighting to facilitate the release of those imprisoned in Gaza.
The White House said Tuesday that Biden’s top Middle East adviser, Brett McGurk, would travel to the region, primarily to Qatar, where Hamas has its political office, to discuss the hostage issue.
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