US sees ‘real progress’ on framework for hostage release, says senior official

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Strip at sunrise on February 11, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. (SAID KHATIB/AFP)
Negotiators working on a framework for a deal to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza have made “real progress” over the last few weeks, a senior Biden administration official said Sunday night.

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The hostage release deal was the main focus of a 45-minute telephone call between US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier.

While there were still some “significant” gaps to close, the official said the deal was “pretty much there,” adding that Biden had stressed the need to capitalize on that progress to “secure the release of all hostages as soon as possible.”

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