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Biden speaks with Qatar’s emir on efforts to free Hamas hostages

Biden speaks with Qatar’s emir on efforts to free Hamas hostages
  • PublishedJanuary 26, 2024

The President of the United States, Joe Biden spoke with Qatar’s emir to discuss efforts to free the hostages still being held in Gaza by Hamas, the White House said.

The exchange came on Friday as the head of the CIA is to meet in Europe with his counterparts from Israel and Egypt and the prime minister of Qatar with the goal of negotiating a truce and the release of the remaining hostages in the Israeli-Hamas war, US media reported.

Qatar is playing a key role as it brokered a hostage release deal in November.

Biden also spoke Friday with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said.

The November swap occurred during a week-long truce under which some 100 people were freed by Hamas in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

Qatar, Egypt and the United States are attempting to negotiate a new truce, and Biden’s Middle East envoy Brett McGurk is already in the region for talks.

The news outlet Axios has reported that Israel offered Hamas a two-month pause in fighting in Gaza in exchange for the release of all hostages.

Israeli authorities say 132 hostages are still being held in the Gaza Strip, 28 of whom are presumed dead.

The war began when Hamas launched its October 7 attack, which resulted in about 1,140 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

Vowing to crush Hamas, Israel launched a relentless military campaign that has killed at least 26,083 people in the Palestinian territory, mostly women and children, according to the Gaza health ministry.

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Written By
Regina Robinson

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