US government could request hostage exchange with Hamas, excluding Israel – UBJ

The Biden administration is considering a possible deal with the militant group Hamas for the release of five American hostages if ongoing negotiations with Israel do not progress, according to NBC News.

This consideration follows an incident in which an Israeli mission managed to free four captives but also resulted in the deaths of around 274 Palestinians, as reported by Gaza officials. This scenario is indicative of President Biden’s dissatisfaction with the Israeli administration’s repeated interruptions of ceasefire talks in recent months.

Biden has previously expressed his opinion to Time magazine regarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s role in continuing the war, suggesting it could be for Netanyahu’s political gain. There were also reports of Israeli security officials informing hostage families that Netanyahu would refuse any deal for their release unless it was in his political favor.

Although Biden has introduced a ceasefire plan that he says has the approval of Israel’s war cabinet, Netanyahu and his allies have made clear that without the total defeat of Hamas, no end-of-war agreement would be acceptable.

Discussions within the Biden administration are aimed at both the release of American hostages and the return of three Americans who died during a Hamas assault on October 7. However, details of what might be offered in exchange remain unclear. The possibility of a direct deal with Hamas is being seen as a strategy to pressure Netanyahu into agreeing to a ceasefire.

Relatives of the 120 hostages still held by Hamas, including American Hersh Goldberg-Polin, publicly urged the Israeli government to finalize a truce that would guarantee the freedom of their family members and end the violence in Gaza. Some family members actively participated in peace protests and were arrested by Israeli authorities.

The Goldberg-Polin parents expressed their support to NBC for any dialogue that could result in their family member, held captive for more than eight months. They look forward to the day when all families can reunite with their captive loved ones.

Despite suspicions surrounding recent ceasefire proposals, Hamas has shown its willingness to consider a gradual handover of hostages in exchange for Palestinian detainees held before and after the October 7 clashes. As the United States awaits Hamas’ official response to the new ceasefire proposal, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan remains hopeful.

The Biden administration is considering a possible unilateral agreement with Hamas for the release of five American hostages if discussions on a ceasefire with Israel do not move forward.

While the Israeli mission succeeded in freeing four hostages, it also resulted in the deaths of around 274 Palestinians according to Gaza authorities, sparking even more frustration within the Biden administration.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partners have said any ceasefire agreement would only be considered if it provides for the complete destruction of Hamas.

The families of the hostages are pleading with the Israeli government to reach a deal for the release of their loved ones and to end the violence in Gaza. Some even participated in peaceful protests, despite the arrests.

Hamas has said it is open to a gradual release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, demonstrating some potential flexibility in negotiations.