Negotiations to safe the discharge of hostages held by Hamas are shut and the disagreements amongst events have narrowed amid intensive talks, deputy nationwide safety adviser Jon Finer mentioned Sunday.
“We predict that we’re nearer than we have now been maybe at any level since these negotiations started weeks in the past, that there are areas of distinction and disagreement which were narrowed, if not closed out completely,” Finer instructed CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” stressing that these are delicate negotiations and no deal is at the moment in place.
Finer declined to dive into the main points of the talks, however mentioned officers are working across the clock and that it stays a precedence for President Joe Biden.
US officers have been signaling for days that Israel and Hamas are transferring nearer to a deal to safe the discharge of hostages taken through the Hamas assaults on Israel in change for a sustained, days-long pause in combating.
Solely a handful of hostages have been launched to this point because the begin of the battle.
The negotiating events – Israel, Hamas and the US, with Qatar mediating between them – have sought to work by way of a variety of sticking factors. These embrace what number of days a possible pause in combating would final and the variety of hostages that might be launched, sources accustomed to the talks beforehand instructed CNN.
Earlier Sunday, Qatar’s prime minister equally mentioned “good progress” has been made “prior to now few days” within the negotiations, including that the sticking factors are “extra sensible, logistical, probably not one thing that represents the core of the deal.”
Requested about what number of hostages the US believes are nonetheless alive, Finer responded that they don’t have actual numbers however mentioned, “We do consider that there’s a vital variety of People being held.”
“One of many challenges related to that is we’re not on the bottom in Gaza, america. We’re not in direct contact with Hamas. We try this solely by way of intermediaries. And so, we don’t have good constancy about actual numbers of hostages, together with numbers who’re nonetheless alive,” he mentioned.
Finer additionally mentioned the US remains to be gathering details about strikes that hit a UN-run college, which was getting used as a shelter, in Gaza over the weekend.
“What I can say at this level – and we’re additionally in contact with the Israelis to attempt to discover out what they learn about what occurred – is that if hurt was performed to harmless civilians, sheltering at a UN web site that might be completely unacceptable,” Finer mentioned.
CNN’s Alex Marquardt, Kaitlan Collins, MJ Lee and Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.