Israel 'welcomes' potential US unilateral negotiations with Hamas to free American hostages

Jerusalem, June 11 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has welcomed the reported discussions in the White House to negotiate a unilateral deal with Hamas to free five US nationals held hostage in Gaza.

Israel “welcomes any attempt to release our hostages,” the Prime Minister’s office said on Monday in a statement as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

US President Joe Biden is considering a unilateral deal with Hamas if the Qatari and Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas fail, according to a report by NBC News.

Such negotiations would not include Israel and would be facilitated through Qatari mediators, said the report.

Speaking to reporters in Cairo before departing for Jerusalem, US Secretary Antony Blinken was asked about the report but chose not to confirm or deny its validity.

He emphasised that the best way to free all the hostages is through a ceasefire proposal currently on the table.



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