Israel not giving up on women hostages held by Hamas: US

israel not giving up on women hostages held by hamas us – The News Mill

ANI Photo | Israel not giving up on women hostages held by Hamas: US

Amid the resumption of the ground offensive against Hamas, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Monday said Israel was not ready to give up on the release of women hostages held by Hamas, adding that the terror group will “not release” them from their captivity.
“The first phase of the hostage negotiation was about the release of women and children. Hamas continues to hold civilian women, and will not release them. And Israel is not prepared to close the book on those women or to give them up. So Israel is insisting that Hamas follow through on the release of those women. And, then Israel has said, that if Hamas is prepared to follow through on that, Israel is absolutely prepared to discuss additional categories of hostages,” Sullivan said at a press briefing in Washington DC on Monday.
He informed, however, that the US was looking at negotiations to broker a fresh ceasefire and ensure the release of the remaining hostages.
“Civilian men, the wounded, and ultimately all of the hostages, the IDF soldiers being held there. We the United States, of course, look at that negotiation and think- How do we get back to it? The easiest, most straightforward way to get back to it would be for Hamas to be held accountable for not following through on its end of the bargain. But then we also have to think about how we get all of our American hostages out, and we are giving thought to that as well,” the NSA added.
He, however, declined to weigh in on whether Israel has been more precise in its military operation in Gaza to avoid further civilian casualties, The Times of Israel reported.
Top US officials, meanwhile, ramped up their warnings about protecting civilian lives as Israel expands its offensive to southern Gaza.
“What I would prefer to do is just state facts as I see them, and the facts that I see, over the course of the past few days, are that Israel has identified a very specific area, has asked people to leave that area — Israel has actually coordinated the commencement of its military operations on the ground in the south with that kind of notification,” Sullivan said on Monday.
He added that the US was holding conversations “day in, day out” with Israeli counterparts about the steps it wants to see Israel take to protect civilian lives.
The Times of Israel, in a report, quoted Sullivan as saying that one of the “key lessons” from Israel’s operations in the northern part of Gaza was that it must “give civilians the time and capacity and real opportunity to leave” the region before commencing a ground operation.
The US is doing “everything in our power” to get hostages released from Hamas, Sullivan said.
He said he briefed President Joe Biden regularly throughout the weekend, and on Monday, about efforts to secure the release of the remaining hostages.
The President was also briefed on efforts to expand humanitarian assistance to Gaza and support Israel’s military campaign against Hamas, Sullivan informed.
The Biden administration has also held conversations with Israel about how long its offensive against Hamas might take, Sullivan said.
However, he did not elaborate on the talks.
“I think particularly given the sensitivity of this military operation, it wouldn’t be wise for me to lay that out in public for all of you, but it is a topic of conversation that we’re having with Israel,” Sullivan said.

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