US reviews response from Hamas on hostage deal

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The United States is reviewing a response from Hamas to a framework that could see a new hostage deal with Israel that may result in a lengthy pause in fighting.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking in Doha, Qatar, indicated that he would discuss Hamas’ response with Israeli officials when he visits on Wednesday.

Earlier, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani expressed optimism over what he said was the militant group’s generally positive answer to the framework.

Qatar said Tuesday that it has received a positive response to the proposal to free Israeli hostages but it’s a conversation that will continue on Wednesday when Washington’s top diplomat visits Israel as part of his shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East.

Qatar’s Prime Minister al-Thani also indicated that the Hamas response included some comments but gave no additional detail citing the sensitivity of the circumstances.

Blinken indicated that there was still a lot of work to be done to conclude any agreement that could see all the Israeli hostages released in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and the longest pause in fighting in Gaza since the war began four months ago.

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