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US: Prisoner swap deal ‘only way’ to release prisoners of war held in Gaza 

November 20, 2023 at 9:48 am

Relatives of Israeli prisoners have been captive in Gaza Strip by Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades gather as they carry banners stage a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel on November 12, 2023. [Nir Keidar – Anadolu Agency]

Two American officials said the United States is keeping all options on the table regarding the return of prisoners of war held by the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip, as negotiations aimed at their release continue, ABC News reported.

The network quoted the two officials as saying that the United States is playing an important role in advancing negotiations between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Israel, while formulating plans in cooperation with international partners for tactical hostage recovery operations that can be implemented if it is confirmed that they can be carried out “with a reasonable level of security risks”.

The two officials confirmed that Washington believes that reaching an agreement through mediators to recover the prisoners of war is the best option to secure the release of a large number of them, noting that the conditions on the ground during the first days of the war made it very difficult to carry out any operation to free them.

According to the two officials, the US is working with both Qatar and Egypt to push Israel and Hamas to reach an agreement to release many prisoners in Gaza.

According to Israeli estimates, the Palestinian factions are holding approximately 240 prisoners of war; ten of whom are dual US-Israeli citizens. The Palestinian resistance has said 57 prisoners of war have been killed as a result of Israel’s relentless bombing of Gaza since 7 October.

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