Biden admin considers hostage deal to free US citizens if cease-fire talks fail: Report

The Biden administration also hopes to negotiate the release of the remains of three U.S. citizens.

Published: June 10, 2024 12:36pm

The Biden administration is reportedly considering negotiating a deal with Hamas that would secure the release of five U.S. citizens being held hostage in Gaza if Israel's current cease-fire talks with Hamas fail. 

The discussions would not include Israel, and would be mediated by Qatar, which has been assisting in the current negotiations, multiple Biden administration officials said, according to a report from NBC News on Monday.

The White House declined to comment on the matter, but the Biden administration previously said it believes Hamas is holding five Americans hostage after kidnapping them during the Oct. 7, 2023, terrorist attack on Israel. 

Their names and ages at the time of their kidnapping are Edan Alexander, 19; Omer Neutra, 21; Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23; Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35; and Keith Siegel, 64. They have been held captive for nearly 250 days.

The Biden administration also hopes to negotiate the release of the remains of three U.S. citizens whose remains were taken to Gaza after they were killed during the Oct. 7 attack. Those are Itay Chen, 19; Judi Weinstein Haggai, 70; and Gad Haggai, 73.

Goldberg-Polin's parents said they supported such discussions. 

"We welcome any negotiations that will lead to the return home of our loved ones who have been in captivity for over 8 months," Rachel Goldberg-Polin and Jon Polin said. "We pray that every family with hostages will be reunited with their loved ones imminently.”

The news comes after the Israel Defense Forces rescued four Israeli hostages who were kidnapped from the Nova music festival on Oct. 7.

Israel estimates that Hamas is holding 120 people captive, and 43 of them have died in Gaza.

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