US President Raises Hope of Hamas Hostage deal with Israel
United State (US) President Joe Biden has indicated that he believes a deal that would secure the release of some hostage from Hamas in exchange for pauses in Israel offensive is near.
The comment came during an annual thanksgiving ceremony, in which the president pardons a turkey.
Asked by a reporter about whether the rumored deal was near, Biden crossed his fingers and replied “I believe so”.
On Sunday, the Washington post reported the deal was imminent, and the Israeli ambassador to the US has said on Sunday he’s hopeful one will be reached “in the coming days”.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has further raised hopes of a deal by saying its head will meet Hamas. The ICRC has helped facilitate previous deals.
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that he hoped for an agreement “in the coming days” while Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that the remaining sticking points were “very minor.”
US President Joe Biden and other US officials said on Monday a deal was near, but an agreement has appeared close before.
“Sensitive negotiations like this can fall apart at the last minute,” White House deputy national security adviser Jon Finer told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program on Sunday. “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
Hamas’ raid on 7 October, the deadliest day in Israel’s 75-year-old history, prompted Israel to invade the Palestinian territory to target Hamas.
Since then, Gaza’s Hamas-run government said at least 13,300 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 5,600 children and 3,550 women, by unrelenting Israeli bombardment.
Hamas said on its Telegram account on Monday that it had launched a barrage of missiles towards Tel Aviv. Witnesses also reported rockets being fired at central Israel.