Biden says US ‘very close’ to deal with Hamas to release Gaza hostages

Pres­i­dent Joe Biden said Tues­day that an agree­ment to release hostages in Gaza may be close as the con­tours of the pos­si­ble deal come to light.
Hamas took more than 200 Israeli and Amer­i­can hostages dur­ing its Oct. 7 ter­ror­ist attacks, and Unit­ed States lead­ers have been part of nego­ti­a­tions to get them back ever since. Biden implied that an announce­ment could be immi­nent.
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“As you all know, I’ve spo­ken recent­ly about it with both [Israeli] Prime Min­is­ter [Ben­jamin] Netanyahu and the emir of Qatar,” Biden said. “My team has been in the region shut­tling between the cap­i­tal. We are now very close, very close.”
A U.S. offi­cial gave a sim­i­lar mes­sage to the Wash­ing­ton Exam­in­er on Tues­day morn­ing, say­ing, “We are the clos­est we’ve been to a deal.”
The remarks come as var­i­ous news out­lets report that an agree­ment will like­ly include releas­ing 50 women and chil­dren being held hostage in exchange for a four- to five-day pause in fight­ing and the release of three Pales­tin­ian pris­on­ers for every civil­ian hostage. Those details could change, or the deal could fall apart as it is not final­ized.
Biden did not men­tion specifics dur­ing his …