U.S. 'Welcomes' Israel-Hamas Hostage Deal

The United States Tuesday night welcomed the deal to release 50 hostages, including American citizens, held by Hamas since its October 7 attack on Israel, TURAN's Wasbington correspondent reports.

Israel and Hamas agreed to implement a temporary cease-fire for four days to allow for the safe transfer of hostages and the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

The deal is set to go into effect sometime tomorrow, following intensive international negotiations over the course of a month and a half, according to U.S. officials and the Israeli government.

The release of hostages is expected to trigger the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, per a Hamas demand.

While this deal marks significant progress, "we will not rest as long as Hamas continues to hold hostages in Gaza," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The U.S. believes that there are more children and women beyond the 50 that Hamas had identified for release, with a senior U.S. administration official telling reporters in a call Tuesday night that Hamas has not been able to provide a comprehensive list of all the people who were kidnapped from Israel.

Washington expects Hamas to work throughout the pause in fighting to identify additional women and children to be released.

Earlier in the day, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters that discussions about a hostage deal was being facilitated by the Qatari government.

President Joe Biden in a statement thanked Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Egyptian President El-Sisi for their critical leadership and partnership in reaching this deal.

"And I appreciate the commitment that Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government have made in supporting an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out and to ensure the provision of additional humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinian families in Gaza. I look forward to speaking with each of these leaders and staying in close contact as we work to ensure this deal is carried through in its entirety. It is important that all aspects of this deal be fully implemented," Biden noted.
Vice President Kamala Harris in a separate statement welcomed the commitment that Israel has made to support an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out and to ensure additional humanitarian assistance reaches civilians in Gaza. The flow of aid must substantially increase and civilians must be protected.

"We also call on Hamas to release all the remaining hostages," Harris noted.

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