Posted by on November 21, 2023 9:41 am
Categories: News Washington Examiner

Israel-Hamas hostage negotiations are ‘closest we’ve been to a deal,’ US official says

FILE – A man holds his baby as he looks at posters of the men, women and children held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, during a vigil marking 30 days since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that started the fighting, in Jerusalem, Israel on Nov. 5, 2023. As the military sets its sights on southern Gaza in its campaign to stamp out Hamas, key challenges loom. International patience for a protracted invasion has begun to wear thin. And with some 2 million displaced Gaza residents staying in crowded shelters in the south in dire conditions, a broad military offensive there could unleash a new humanitarian disaster during the cold, wet winter. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File) Maya Alleruzzo/AP

Israel-Hamas hostage negotiations are ‘closest we’ve been to a deal,’ US official says

Mike Brest November 21, 08:41 AM November 21, 08:41 AM Video Embed

Israel and Hamas are closer to an agreement to release dozens of hostages held in Gaza than they have been since the hostages were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks.

“We are the closest we’ve been to a deal,” a U.S. official told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday morning.


The official’s remarks come as various news outlets report that the agreement could be announced later on Tuesday and will likely include the exchange of 50 women and children hostages for a four-to-five-day pause in fighting and three Palestinian prisoners for every civilian hostage released. The deal’s details could change, or the deal itself could fall apart due to circumstances there.

Should the agreement come to fruition, it could be the first of multiple, as this will release less than a fourth of the roughly 240 people who are presumed to be held by Hamas and have been for about six weeks.

President Joe Biden said on Monday that he believes the sides are nearing an agreement, which the Qatari government has played an instrumental role in pursuing.


“We are doing everything in our power to secure the release of those hostages and see their safe return home. But it’s just not productive to talk about the details. We have been engaged in intense negotiations over this matter,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on Monday. “The secretary’s been involved. The president has been involved. Other members of the administration have. And we have made progress in trying to secure a deal in conversation with our Qatari partners and, of course, in conversation with the government of Israel. But I can’t speak to the underlying details of those negotiations.”

Israeli leaders said they will not agree to any sort of indefinite ceasefire that doesn’t include the release of all the hostages. To date, five hostages have been freed, and the bodies of two others have been recovered, but the well-being of the more than 230 others remains unknown.

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