June 11, 2024
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White House Officials Mull Separate Deal to Free US Hostages

(JNS) The Biden administration has talked about negotiating a unilateral deal for the release of five Americans held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, NBC News reported on Monday, June 10.

The talks wouldn’t include Israel and would take place via Qatari mediators, two current senior U.S. officials and two former ones told NBC.

One of the current officials called it a “very real option.”

The five American hostages were abducted on Oct. 7 when the terror group invaded Israel. They are Edan Alexander, Sagui Dekel-Chen, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, Omer Neutra and Keith Siegel.

Three other U.S. hostages are believed to have been killed that day, with their remains being held by Hamas. America wants to recover their bodies as well.

The officials said they didn’t know what the U.S. could exchange for the hostages, but that Hamas might agree to a deal to “strain relations between the U.S. and Israel and put additional domestic political pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

The administration has also discussed the possibility that a separate U.S. deal might pressure Netanyahu to agree to a ceasefire, one of the former officials said.

A separate, unilateral deal would be pursued if the current Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal on the table falls through. Last week, a Saudi paper reported that Hamas had rejected the deal, however, Israel denied that a formal rejection had taken place.

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