The National Security Council's spokesperson, John Kirby, provided an update on Monday regarding the intense negotiations for the release of hostages held by Hamas. Kirby indicated that a resolution might be imminent, saying negotiators are “getting close to the end”.
However, he refrained from sharing specifics about the potential deal, maintaining a cautious approach in his statements. This development comes amid heightened concerns about the fate of those held captive. Kirby chose not to comment on recent CCTV footage purportedly showing two hostages being moved through Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza on October 7, keeping the details under wraps.
The Focus on American Citizens and Families’ Pleas
The conversation turned to the specifics of the hostages’ nationalities when CNN’s MJ Lee inquired about the possibility of American citizens being among those released.
“Obviously, we are laser-focused on the American citizens that we know are being held hostage, and we want them out, all of them, everybody should be out now,” Kirby responded. He expressed optimism but avoided speculation on the specifics of the hostages' identities.
The White House remains confident about the safety of American hostages, with Kirby stating, “I would say we have no indication otherwise”. This assurance is crucial for the families eagerly awaiting the return of their loved ones.
Family members of some Israeli hostages have voiced their concerns and demands for clarity. Ahead of a crucial meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet, Shai Wenkert, whose son is among those held by Hamas, demanded a firm commitment to the hostages' return.
“I demand their commitment that everyone is returning home. All the hostages. We must get answers, and a commitment,” Wenkert asserted. Meirav Leshem Gonen, another family member affected, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need for concrete answers and accountability.
“We have very concrete questions that we expect them to answer. Every deal or any stage in this path ... doesn’t excuse anyone from their responsibility to return all the hostages home,” she stated. While the specifics remain undisclosed, there is a growing sense of optimism.
Both the United States and Qatar have given positive assessments of the negotiations, with sources telling CNN that a deal freeing dozens of civilians could be imminent.