© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Individuals stand subsequent to the wall with footage, devoted to hostages which are being held in Gaza after they had been kidnapped from Israel by Hamas gunmen on October 7, as households and supporters of hostages maintain an illustration calling for his or her im
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. officers are making intense efforts to realize the discharge of hostages held by Hamas militants in Gaza, however there isn’t a assure of success or a timeframe, a senior Biden administration official mentioned on Friday.
The official, briefing reporters on situation of anonymity, mentioned there was “oblique engagement” geared toward discovering a method to get the hostages out however that the work was extraordinarily troublesome.
Hamas, which guidelines the Palestinian Gaza Strip, killed 1,400 folks and took greater than 240 others hostage in an Oct. 7 assault in southern Israel.
Lots of the hostages are nonetheless being held in Gaza, the place the Israeli navy has launched air strikes and a floor assault and imposed a siege. Gaza well being officers say greater than 9,250 Palestinians have been killed.
The official mentioned it will require a “very important pause within the battle” to get the hostages out.
“It’s one thing that’s below a really severe and energetic dialogue… There isn’t a settlement as of but to really get this executed, nevertheless it’s one thing we’re engaged on extraordinarily exhausting,” he mentioned.
“We’re hopeful and doing every thing we probably can to get the hostages out, however there’s completely no assure a) that it will occur or b) when it is going to occur,” the official added.
“We’re going to do all we probably can to ensure that all of the hostages of all nationalities come out of Gaza. So there’s an energetic course of occurring right here with a number of traces of effort, together with oblique engagement to attempt to discover a framework to get the hostages out of Gaza,” the official mentioned.
The official mentioned the administration was additionally negotiating with Hamas over permitting international nationals trapped within the tiny enclave protected passage out of Gaza.
Explaining why it took “so lengthy” to get international nationals out, the official mentioned Hamas conditioned the discharge of foreigners on wounded Palestinians with the ability to exit as properly.
“However the listing that was supplied, as soon as it was vetted, (about) a 3rd of the wounded Palestinians on the listing had been members of Hamas… That was simply unacceptable to Egypt, to us, to Israel,” the official mentioned.
“And so this went on for a while. Ultimately, what was labored out was that the wounded Palestinian civilians leaving with the international nationals weren’t Hamas fighters,” the official added.