7:27 p.m. ET, November 28, 2023
White House hopeful some Americans could be released Wednesday
The White House said it remains hopeful that some Americans may be released Wednesday as part of the two-day extension of the initial pause in hostilities between Hamas and Israel.
“No Americans, unfortunately, now today. But we’re hopeful, tomorrow’s another day, and we certainly hope that we can see some more Americans come out,” National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby told reporters Tuesday.
Kirby said that there remains no indication “at all” that Hamas not releasing American hostages is some sort of tactic or leverage, pointing to the small pool of Americans being held captive and the difficult logistics.
“We want to see all the hostages released and so there be extended pauses beyond these two days extension then you know, we’re in favor of that. And we’re going to keep working on this, as I said, hour by hour with all our partners in the region,” Kirby said.
He declined to say more when asked to put a likelihood on whether another extension will be agreed to by all parties.
Kirby said Israel has an “added burden” as it plans for potential offensives in southern Gaza to account for civilian lives when the truce is over. Israel previously urged thousands of Gaza to move to that part of the enclave due to its offensive in the north.
“So it’s even all that more of an added burden on Israel to make sure that as they start to plan for operations in the south, whatever that looks like, that they have properly accounted for the innocent life — the extra innocent life that is now in south Gaza,” he said.