US President Joe Biden Monday said he believes that a deal to free some of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for a ceasefire is close, reported Reuters. "I believe so," the US President said when he was asked whether a deal was near during a Thanksgiving ceremony at the White House.
Reuters had last week reported that mediators of Qatar were seeking a deal between Israel and Hamas to exchange 50 hostages in return for a three-day ceasefire. The mediators believed that the deal would help boost emergency aid shipments to civilians in Gaza.
About 240 people, including women and children, were taken hostage during the cross-border attack by Hamas into Israel on October 7. About 33 children are among the hostages.
According to Israeli data, about 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, were killed in this surprise assault by Hamas, the deadliest in Israel's 75-year-old history. This surprise attack prompted Israel to invade the Palestinian territory to wipe out Hamas, which Israel considers an Islamist militant group.Read more on livemint.com