Biden: It’s up to Hamas to agree to ceasefire deal that would free hostages

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US President Joe Biden says the ball is now in Hamas’s court to accept a proposal on the table for a six-week truce that would see some of the hostages released from Gaza.

“It’s now up to Hamas. They need to move on the proposal that has been made [so we can] get these hostages home where they belong,” Biden says during a press conference. “It also brings back a six-week ceasefire that we need now.”

In an interview last week that aired yesterday, Biden only addressed the need for Israel to agree to a six-to-eight-week ceasefire without mentioning Hamas or the hostages. The White House said afterward that he was referring to the hostage deal currently being negotiated.

Biden notes that relatives of some of the American hostages met this week with US Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. “They know how committed we are… to getting their loved ones home. We’re not going to stop until we do.”

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