Washington: Working ‘hour by hour’ to free hostages

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – The US government says it is continuing to work on an agreement to free many hostages in the Gaza Strip. “I don’t want to negotiate in public, but we believe we are getting closer to a solution,” National Security Council communications director John Kirby said at the White House on Monday. There is nothing new to announce at the moment – we are working “hour by hour” on a solution. Kirby repeated previous US statements that they were closer to an agreement than ever before.

He did not say how many hostages might be affected by such a deal. “But of course we (…) above all want to achieve the release of the children and women, and of course the Americans too.” But it’s best to say as little as possible publicly, says Kirby.

Terrorists from the Islamist Hamas and other groups kidnapped around 240 hostages to the Gaza Strip in massacres and attacks in Israel on October 7th. The Gulf state of Qatar plays an important mediating role in the negotiations to free hostages./nau/DP/zb