President Joe Biden has expressed optimism regarding the ongoing hostage situation in Gaza following the initial release of 13 Israelis.
On Friday, in Nantucket, Biden addressed reporters, expressing satisfaction with the progress, though acknowledging it as just a beginning.
Biden’s efforts to secure release of American citizens held by Hamas
“It’s only a start, but so far, it’s gone well,” he stated. He also mentioned the release of several Thai nationals previously held by Hamas.
The plight of the three American citizens, including 4-year-old Abigail Edan, who were not included in this initial release, remains a priority for Biden.
Biden’s commitment to safe return of American hostages held by Hamas
He emphasized his commitment to their safe return, saying, “We also will not stop until we get these hostages brought home and an answer to their whereabouts.”
Looking forward, Biden anticipates information regarding the next group of hostages, expected to be released on Saturday.
Biden anticipates release of American hostages held by Hamas
While unsure about the exact timing of the American hostages’ release, he remains hopeful and anticipates it happening soon.
Biden also addressed the possibility of extending the current pause in fighting to facilitate the return of more than 50 hostages, noting the chances as being real.
Biden’s candid remarks on Hamas express lack of trust in their actions
However, when questioned about the status of 10 unaccounted-for Americans, he admitted the lack of comprehensive information regarding their conditions.
On the subject of Hamas, Biden offered a candid perspective.
He expressed a lack of trust in the organization, saying, “I don’t trust Hamas to do anything right. I only trust Hamas to respond to pressure.” He accused Hamas of indifference towards the welfare of innocent Palestinian civilians.
Biden’s speculation on timing of Hamas’ attack, committed to peace efforts
Biden speculated that Hamas’ attack on October 7 was strategically timed, considering his efforts with Saudi Arabia and others in the region to promote peace and recognition of Israel.
He pledged to continue working towards these goals.
Biden credits diplomacy for hostage release, thanks key leaders
The president attributed the initial success of hostage release to extensive US diplomacy.
He acknowledged the roles of various leaders in the negotiations, including the emir of Qatar, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, thanking them for their partnership.
Biden focuses on humanitarian aid to Gaza, ensures ongoing monitoring
Biden highlighted the humanitarian assistance sent to Gaza, encompassing fuel, medicine, and food.
He keeps abreast of these developments through US special envoy David Satterfield, asking for constant updates.
Biden calls for peace, addresses Hamas, prays for hostages
Reiterating his vision for the region, Biden emphasized the need for a two-state solution to achieve long-term peace.
He stressed the importance of Israelis and Palestinians coexisting in harmony, highlighting Hamas’ fear of such peace as a motive for their terrorist attacks.
Concluding, Biden shared that he and the first lady are keeping the hostages in their prayers, acknowledging the trauma they have endured and the healing journey ahead.