WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden expressed optimism that Israel and Hamas are nearing a deal that could lead to the release of dozens of civilian hostages in Gaza and a pause in hostilities.
Biden said on Tuesday that the US has been working intensively on the negotiations and is now “very close” to a potential breakthrough. He refrained from discussing any specific details but emphasized that things are looking good and that they were on the verge of reaching a truce agreement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also echoed this optimism, expressing hope for good news soon. Israel’s security and war cabinets were scheduled to convene for an unscheduled meeting, followed by a full government gathering to vote on the potential release of Palestinian prisoners.
Meanwhile, Qatar is mediating the talks, which could result in the release of up to 50 hostages and a temporary halt in hostilities by Israel. The International Committee of the Red Cross has also been involved in these negotiations.
While these efforts towards a potential truce continue, the fighting in Gaza persists, with Israeli troops operating in various parts of the city. The situation remains tense, with ongoing violence and casualties.
Separately, the Israeli army announced the release of poet Mosab Abu Toha, who was detained at a Gaza checkpoint as he tried to flee south to safety. The Israeli military’s actions have been met with international scrutiny and condemnation.
The ongoing violence has led to increased tensions in the region, with concerns about a potential escalation. The situation is fluid, and efforts are being made to address the immediate humanitarian crisis and seek a lasting solution to the conflict.
The current war has taken a heavy toll, resulting in significant loss of life and destruction. The need for a peaceful resolution to the crisis remains a top priority for international stakeholders.