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Biden pushes Qatar, Egypt to urge Hamas to form Israeli hostage truce

A U.S. national security adviser will meet with family members of some of the estimated 100 hostages believed to still be in Gaza.
Biden pushes Qatar, Egypt to urge Hamas to form Israeli hostage truce
Posted at 5:26 PM, Apr 05, 2024

President Joe Biden on Friday wrote to the leaders of Egypt and Qatar, calling on them to press Hamas for a hostage deal with Israel, according to a senior administration official, one day after President Biden called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to redouble efforts to reach a cease-fire in the six-month-old war in Gaza.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private letters, said President Biden's national security adviser will meet Monday with family members of some of the estimated 100 hostages who are believed to still be in Gaza.

The letters to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, come as President Biden has deployed CIA Director Bill Burns to Cairo for talks this weekend about the hostage crisis.

SEE MORE: White House: 'We'll be watching' if Israel makes changes

White House officials say negotiating a pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas to facilitate the exchange of hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel is the only way to put a temporary cease-fire into effect and boost the flow of badly needed humanitarian aid into the territory.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said earlier Friday that President Biden underscored the need to get a hostage deal done during a Thursday conversation with Netanyahu that largely focused on Israeli airstrikes that killed seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen.

"We are coming up on six months — six months that these people have been held hostage. And what we have to consider is just the abhorrent conditions" the hostages are being held in, Kirby said. "They need to be home with their families."


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