The Biden Administration has fluttered its peacock feathers for seven weeks and claimed active lead negotiations of the release of hostages held by Hamas, as a result of the Oct. 7 Hamas invasion of Israel when over 200 hundred hostages were taken, including 10 Americans but, no Americans were included in the first wave on Friday following the pause in the war.
President Joe Biden said on Friday that he had no update on when American hostages would be released after this agreement.
Hamas released 13 Israeli civilians as well as 12 Thai nationals Friday.
Two Americans were released in October.
Biden gave a Friday address to the press acclaiming the initial hostages’ release, but when asked by a reporter when the first American hostages would be released he revealed the obvious.
“We don’t know when that will occur [inaudible] but we expect it to occur. And we don’t know what the list of all the hostages are and when they’ll be released. But we know the numbers that are going to be released. It is my hope and my expectation it’ll be soon,” Joe Biden said demonstrating less confidence than before.
The U.S., Israeli, Qatari and Egyptian officials have been heavily involved in the hostage release negotiations, but clearly, the Biden Administration is now admitting the U.S. is not leading the hostage negotiations no matter how much emphasis and U.S. public relations’ spin have been placed upon Secretary Antony Blinken’s hopscotching across the Middle East meeting with heads of state for nearly seven weeks, and even President Biden’s visit to Israel weeks ago.
What has been negotiated is a pause in the conflict for four days whereby Israel will release 150 of its Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 50 of the hostage held by Hamas. Over these initial days, more waves of hostages will be released, but not all.
“Beginning this morning under a deal reached by extensive U.S. diplomacy, including numerous calls I’ve made from the Oval Office across the region, fighting in Gaza will halt for four days,” the president said in a speech Friday which acknowledged the first wave of hostage release.
Clearly, the expectation by the Biden Administration was that Americans would be released during the first wave, but they failed although two American hostages were released earlier.
“Today has been a product of a lot of hard work and weeks of personal engagement,” Joe Biden said Friday. “From the moment Hamas kidnapped these people, I along with my team have worked around the clock to secure their release. We saw the first result of this ever with the release of two American hostages in late October followed by the release of two Israeli hostages.”
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