The National Security Council (NSC) leader has recently indicated that the United States has never been closer to securing a hostage deal with Hamas, despite the ongoing standoff between the two parties.
Hamas, a militant Palestinian political party, seized two American college students in the Gaza Strip in October 2019. Since then, the United States has been working tirelessly to rescue them.
NSC leader Robert O’Brien recently commented on the issue, saying “We’ve never been closer to getting a deal, and we’re hopeful that we can get it done.” However, he also expressed his reservations, saying that Hamas has made it difficult to move forward with any agreement.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that both the United States and Hamas are among the signatories of the Gaza-Israel peace deal, which prevents any country from negotiating with Hamas directly. While the United States has been in contact with some of Hamas’s representatives, it has yet to commit to any official negotiations.
In the meantime, both countries continue to apply pressure on the other, and the situation remains largely stagnant. The United States has imposed various sanctions on Hamas, while the Palestinian militant group has launched various drone attacks against Israel, much to the dismay of the United States.
It is unclear how close the two sides are to actually reaching a deal, but O’Brien’s recent statement suggests that the United States is making headway towards resolving the situation.
The hostage deal would mean the immediate safe return of the two American hostages back to their families in the United States, and, potentially, the beginning of a more productive relationship between the United States and Hamas.