Nantucket: US President Joe Biden on Saturday welcomed the release of some of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and expressed his support for providing military assistance to Israel with certain conditions. He also hoped that the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, which has lasted for four days, will continue to hold.
Biden, who was spending his Thanksgiving weekend in Nantucket, Massachusetts, told reporters that he was encouraged by the progress made in the hostage negotiations and expected more releases in the coming days. “We anticipate more hostages being released tomorrow, more the next day, and more the day after that,” he said.
He said that this was the outcome of intensive diplomatic efforts and that his administration was fully committed to securing the freedom of the hostages. “This is just the beginning. We’re not going to stop until we get all these hostages out of the hands of Hamas,” he said.
He said that he was in constant contact with the three countries involved in the mediation process – Qatar, Israel, and Egypt. He said that he had been working tirelessly since the kidnapping of the hostages by Hamas militants during the recent escalation of violence in Gaza. He said that he had exerted pressure on both sides to reach a ceasefire agreement and that he was pleased with the result. He said that he was closely monitoring the situation and ensuring the implementation of the ceasefire.
According to Qatar, the hostages released so far include 13 Israelis, 10 Thais, and one Filipino. In exchange, Israel freed 39 Palestinian prisoners. Biden said that he supported the idea of giving military aid to Israel with some conditions, but he did not think that it would have been effective if he had done that from the start. “I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t think if I had done that from the beginning, we would have ever gotten to where we are today,” he said. He did not specify what the conditions would be.