White House: Hamas Not Using American Captives as 'Leverage' in Swap Talks
Story Code : 1099018
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby emphasized that there was no indication of Hamas playing “some sort of game” with its US captives.
Kirby highlighted the small number of American prisoners in Gaza, noting that ongoing talks had prioritized the release of women and children. He stated that there was no sign of Hamas using leverage to prevent Americans from being freed.
Since October 7, the Israeli regime launched weeks of heavy airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave and escalated a ground incursion, which killed over 15,500 Palestinians, mostly women and children.
Prisoner swap talks between Palestinian resistance groups and the Israeli regime intermittently paused the fighting, leading to exchanges. These halts allowed aid into Gaza and extended to facilitate negotiations.
The latest exchange saw 12 Israelis released for 30 Palestinian prisoners, extending the ceasefire into Wednesday, fostering potential for further negotiations. Hamas has released 81 hostages, while Israel freed 180 Palestinians.
As the UN and human rights groups urge a longer ceasefire, the EU's top diplomat emphasized the need for sustainability. However, Israel and the US are advocating for shorter 'pauses' and more war with "full force".