Dec 20, 2023 - World

Biden: No new Gaza hostage deal expected for now

President Biden approaches members of the media upon arrival at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Dec. 20. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden doesn't expect a new hostage deal between Israel and Hamas to come soon, he told reporters on Wednesday, but stressed that the U.S. is "pushing" for one.

Why it matters: Israel said it would pause the fighting in Gaza for at least one week as part of a new deal that would require the release of more than three dozen hostages the terror group is holding, Axios reported on Tuesday.

Driving the news: "There's no expectation at this point, but we are pushing," the president said.

  • CIA Director Bill Burns met Monday with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and David Barnea, the head of Israel's Mossad spy agency, in Warsaw to discuss a potential deal.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday that the talks on a new hostage deal are "serious" and stressed the Biden administration hopes "it will lead somewhere".

  • Secretary of State Tony Blinken said on Wednesday during a press conference that the U.S. and Israel both want to see a release of hostages in return for a pause in the fighting. He said the problem is still Hamas refusing to relaunch negotiations.

Go deeper: Israel-Hamas war: How the Gaza ceasefire collapseda

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