The United States believes Hamas is holding eight to nine Americans as hostages after the release of a four-year-old girl…reports Asian Lite News
The White House said on Tuesday that US officials see no indications that Hamas militants are refusing to release American hostages in Gaza in order to use them as leverage.
The United States believes Hamas is holding eight to nine Americans as hostages after the release of a four-year-old girl.
Meanwhile, the United States supports further extension in the operational pause between Israel and Hamas to secure the release of all the hostages in captivity, the White House said on Tuesday.
“We want to see all the hostages released. And so, if there can be extended pauses beyond these two-day extensions…we’re in favour of that. And we’re going to keep working on this, as I said, hour by hour with all our partners in the region,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.
On being asked about the upcoming visit of Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the Middle East, Kirby said that his fourth visit will primarily focus on reaffirming US support to Israel and facilitating humanitarian assistance into Gaza.
He further added that Blinken will meet with his Israeli counterparts and other counterparts in the region.
“It is about making sure that, number one, Israel knows that they continue to have the support of the United States, that they continue to get the tools, the capabilities, and the weapon systems that they need to continue to defend themselves against Hamas. Number two, it’s all about getting that humanitarian assistance in,” Kirby said.
He added, “And so, the President has directed the entire team all across the administration, certainly in the national security agencies, to continue to work that. And I think you’ll see that those will be the prime focuses of Secretary Blinken on his trip”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be making his fourth visit to Israel this week. He will also visit West Bank, Belgium, North Macedonia and UAE during his trip.
White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that President Biden and the entire national security team are engaged in the situation in the Middle East regarding humanitarian aid, operational pause and the release of hostages.
He further informed that the first of three military flights, C-17s, landed in Egypt on Tuesday with humanitarian assistance: food, water, medicine, and supplies.
“Some 54,000 pounds on the first aircraft. We expect two more aircraft to come in coming days,” Kirby said.