President Joe Biden said Monday he believes a deal is near to secure the release of some of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. When asked at the White House about a possible deal, he told reporters: “I believe so.”
Reuters reported last week that Qatari mediators were seeking an agreement between Israel and Hamas to exchange 50 hostages in return for a three-day ceasefire that would help boost the delivery of emergency aid to Gaza civilians, citing an official who had been informed about the conversations.
About 240 hostages were taken during Hamas’ deadly cross-border attack on Israel on October 7, which prompted Israel to invade the small Palestinian territory to eradicate the Islamist militant group.
About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the Hamas attack, which was the deadliest day in Israel’s 75-year history, according to Israeli figures.
Since then, Gaza’s Hamas-led government said at least 13,000 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 5,500 children, by relentless Israeli bombing.
Despite the ongoing fighting, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog told ABC News on Sunday that Israel hoped a significant number of hostages could be released by Hamas “in the coming days.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)