Biden is 'very satisfied' with Gaza hostage crisis


US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that some hostages captured when Hamas militants stormed into Israel on October 7 will soon be released under an agreement brokered with support from across the Middle East. He said he was deeply relieved.

“I am very pleased that once this agreement is fully implemented, some of these brave souls… will be reunited with their families,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

Biden thanked the leaders of Qatar and Egypt for their “vital leadership” in sealing the deal and praised Israel for agreeing to a long-term cessation of fighting in the Gaza Strip to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid. .

He noted that two American hostages were released in late October as a result of intense diplomatic efforts.

“Today’s agreement will bring more American hostages home, and I will not stop until they are all freed,” Biden said.

The four-day ceasefire announced Tuesday after weeks of all-out war is the first major diplomatic breakthrough since fighting began more than six weeks ago.

Under a deal brokered by Qatar, Hamas plans to release 50 women and children kidnapped in the October 7 attack, which Israel says killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians. are doing.

A senior U.S. official said three Americans, including 3-year-old Abigail Mo Idan, are among the 50 people scheduled to be released in stages starting Thursday.

Biden said he will continue to stay in close contact with Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi “as we work to ensure the full implementation of this agreement.” He said he would deal with it.

“It is important that all aspects of this agreement are fully implemented.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the hostage trade was “the result of tireless diplomacy and tireless efforts across the State Department and the broader U.S. government.”

“This agreement represents important progress, but we will not rest as long as Hamas continues to hold hostages in Gaza,” Blinken said.

Qatar played a key role in the mediation, but a senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Egypt was essential to brokering a deal with Hamas.

“I don’t want to underestimate the role played by Egyptians at this critical moment,” the official said.

Source: guardian.ng

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