Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Mujaddara
Nuseirat, in central Gaza, where four living Israeli hostages were rescued by IDF special forces on June 8, 2024

Biden Administration officials are discussing the possibility of negotiating a separate hostage deal with Gaza’s Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization, according to a bombshell report Monday by the NBC News network.

There was no comment from the White House on the report.


Israel, however, appears to have no problem with it; government spokesperson David Mencer told reporters at a briefing Monday afternoon, “Israel has encouraged all countries, whether they have nationals in the grips of Hamas, in Hamas captivity, or whether they don’t, we have encouraged all countries to put maximum pressure on Hamas to get their people, to get our people, all the hostages … home.”

The unilateral agreement under consideration is aimed at securing the freedom of five dual US-Israeli nationals being held by the terrorists, according to two senior American officials and two former senior officials quoted by the news outlet.

Around 120 hostages are still being held by Hamas; of those, at least 43 have been determined to have died in captivity.

The five American hostages still believed to be living are Idan Alexander, Sagi Dekel-Chen, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, Omer Neutra, and Keith Siegel.

The US is also hoping to recover the remains of three additional American citizens believed to have been murdered by Hamas on October 7th, and whose bodies were then dragged into Gaza.

Israel will play no part in the talks, which are to be mediated by Qatar, according to the report.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was expected to arrive in Israel late Monday afternoon after talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo. Blinken is slated to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant upon his arrival.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.