Netanyahu says 'there could be' a potential deal to free hostages from Gaza

Four hostages, including two U.S. citizens, were released from Gaza last month, but around 240 remain in captivity.

Published: November 12, 2023 9:48am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that "there could be" a potential deal to free at least some of the approximately 240 people who were taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7. 

When asked on NBC News' "Meet the Press" about how close Israel is to getting some of the hostages out of the Gaza Strip, which is governed by the Hamas terror group, Netanyahu responded: "I can say that we weren't close at all until we started the ground operation. In fact, we heard that there was an impending deal of this kind or that kind, and then we learned that it was all hokum, it was nothing, but the minute we started the ground operation things began to change."

When host Kristen Welker pressed the prime minister further on whether there was a potential deal, he said: "There could be, but I think the less I say about it, the more I’ll increase the chances that it materializes."

Four hostages, including two U.S. citizens, were released from Gaza last month. 

Meanwhile, a Biden administration official told NBC on Sunday that a deal is being considered to release about 80 women and children in exchange for Palestinians held by Israel. The official also said the U.S. is looking at other potential options and it is unclear whether it will succeed. 

Israel previously exchanged more than 1,000 Palestinians in order to free a single captured Israeli soldier. That deal, which saw the release of convicted terrorists, some of whom went on to plan the Oct. 7 terror attack, took five years to negotiate.

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