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‘US will continue to work hard’, White House dismisses reports of Israel-Hamas deal to free hostages in Gaza

The White House on Saturday dismissed the reports of a US-brokered deal between Israel and Hamas that would potentially free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting.

“We have not reached a deal yet, but we continue to work hard to get to a deal,” the White House National Security Council spokesperson said. 

This came after a report published by The Washington Post claimed that Israel, Hamas, and the United States have agreed to a tentative deal that would free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting.

As per a six-page agreement, all parties to the conflict would freeze combat operations for at least five days while an initial 50 or more hostages are released in smaller batches every 24 hours, ANI reported. 

The deal’s outline was put together during weeks of talks in Doha, Qatar among Israel, the United States, and Hamas. The talks were indirectly represented by Qatari mediators, according to Arab and other diplomats as quoted by The Post. 

It was recently reported that in the midst of escalating pressure to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a multifaceted battle.

CNN reported that families and supporters of nearly 240 hostages marched from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, demanding government action and expressing frustration at the limited meetings with Netanyahu. 

Gil Dickmann, a relative of one of the abductees, urged the Prime Minister to prioritize the hostages’ safe return, saying, “Right now, in Netanyahu’s current political situation, this could be a real victory for the state of Israel.”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid called for Netanyahu’s resignation, emphasizing the loss of public trust. However, he stopped short of calling for new elections, suggesting that Likud should present an alternative leader.


(With ANI inputs)

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Updated: 19 Nov 2023, 01:05 PM IST

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