Joe Biden said on Monday that he “believed” that an agreement was close to free hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, on the sidelines of a ceremony at the White House.
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A journalist asked him the following question: “Is an agreement to release the hostages close?”, and the American president replied: “I think so.”
When the journalist asked him the same question, he replied “Yes!” and pointedly crossed his fingers.
“We have never been closer, we are confident. But there is still work to do. Nothing is done until everything is done,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
The Israeli military estimates that around 240 people taken hostage by Hamas have been taken to Gaza.
Qatar, which is mediating to try to obtain their release in exchange for a truce, assured Sunday that there remained only “very minor” obstacles to an agreement.
These advances have not been confirmed by either Hamas or Israel, whose government refuses any ceasefire without the release of the hostages.