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A Senior U.S. Official Attributes Lack of Hostage Deal to Sinwar and Hamas

Yahya Sinwar (Credits: NBC News)

A senior official in the Biden Administration has squarely placed the blame on Yahya Sinwar, the leader of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip, for the failure to secure an agreement to release hostages held by Hamas for over 200 days since the October 7 massacre.

During a recent briefing, the official emphasized that the impasse is solely due to Sinwar’s refusal to cooperate, stating, “It’s really down to one guy to accept the deal.”

Despite efforts to negotiate and present a detailed agreement that would facilitate an immediate ceasefire in Gaza in exchange for the release of women, wounded, elderly, and sick hostages, Hamas, under Sinwar’s leadership, has rejected the proposal.

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar (Credits: The Australian)

The official expressed the administration’s frustration with Hamas’s stance, saying, “We have worked it out in meticulous detail, and Hamas has rejected that.”

The official reiterated that Sinwar has made the decision to continue holding the hostages rather than securing a ceasefire, stating, “Sinwar has made the decision he’d rather hold them rather than securing a ceasefire, and that’s just the truth of the situation.”

Regarding the ongoing diplomatic efforts, the official expressed cautious optimism but remained skeptical, saying, “Whether or not this is just stringing things out, or whether that’s something real, we’re gonna test that proposition here over the coming days.”

In a show of international support, the United States and 17 other countries issued a joint statement on Thursday calling for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas, reaffirming the global community’s commitment to resolving the crisis.

Hamas’ chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar (Credits: NBC News)

Meanwhile, Egypt has reportedly presented a new hostage deal proposal to Hamas and Israel, signaling ongoing efforts to find a resolution to the protracted crisis in Gaza. The proposal is said to include a phased hostage release and the formation of a Palestinian government of experts to administer the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank.

However, both sides have given the plan a cool reception, with Israel stating that it is giving a hostage deal its “last chance” before launching an operation in Rafah.

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