When questioned about a potential agreement at the White House on Monday, US President Joe Biden responded, “I believe so,” to reporters in regards to the release of some of the hostages that Hamas is holding in Gaza.
Citing an official briefed on the negotiations, Reuters said last week that Qatari mediators had been attempting to broker a deal between Israel and Hamas to swap 50 detainees for a three-day ceasefire that would facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gazan civilians.
About 240 hostages were taken during Hamas’ deadly cross-border rampage into Israel on October 7, which prompted Israel to invade the tiny Palestinian territory to wipe out the militant group.
About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the Hamas assault, according to Israeli tallies, the deadliest day in Israel’s 75-year-old history.
Since then, Gaza’s Hamas-run government said at least 13,000 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 5,500 children, by unrelenting Israeli bombardment.
Despite ongoing fighting, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, told ABC News on Sunday that Israel was hopeful a significant number of hostages could be released by Hamas “in coming days.”