US to potentially negotiate unilateral deal with Hamas to free American captives

World

Published: 2024-06-10 15:09

Last Updated: 2024-06-19 00:34


US President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden of the White House. (April 26, 2023) (Photo: The Washington Post)
US President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden of the White House. (April 26, 2023) (Photo: The Washington Post)

Officials in the Biden administration have discussed negotiating with Hamas to secure the release of five American captives currently held in the Gaza Strip – two current senior US officials and two former senior US officials told NBC News.

Such negotiations would be undertaken only if the current ceasefire and prisoner exchange talks between Hamas and “Israel” fail.

The negotiations would be strictly between Hamas and the US with “Israel” sidelined – and would be conducted through Qatari mediators.

Five American captives are believed to be held by Hamas, in addition to the remains of three US citizens who were killed in Oct. 7 and then taken into the Gaza Strip – according to officials in the Biden administration.

The officials briefed on the discussion could not identify what the US might be able to give Hamas in exchange for the five captives and the remains of the three citizens, but have said that such a unilateral deal would benefit Hamas by further straining the relationship between the US and “Israel” and exert more domestic pressure on “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The five Americans believed to be held captive in Gaza by Hamas are Edan Alexander, Sagui Dekel-Chen, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, Omer Neutra, and Keith Siegel.