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Statements from President Joe Biden, Vice President Harris, and Secretary Blinken on the Hostage Release
November 22, 2023

Statement from President Joe Biden on the Hostage Release in Gaza


I welcome the deal to secure the release of hostages taken by the terrorist group Hamas during its brutal assault against Israel on October 7th.

Jill and I have been keeping all those held hostage and their loved ones close to our hearts these many weeks, and I am extraordinarily gratified that some of these brave souls, who have endured weeks of captivity and an unspeakable ordeal, will be reunited with their families once this deal is fully implemented.

I thank Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt for their critical leadership and partnership in reaching this deal.  And I appreciate the commitment that Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government have made in supporting an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out and to ensure the provision of additional humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinian families in Gaza. I look forward to speaking with each of these leaders and staying in close contact as we work to ensure this deal is carried through in its entirety. It is important that all aspects of this deal be fully implemented.

As President, I have no higher priority than ensuring the safety of Americans held hostage around the world. That’s why—from the earliest moments of Hamas’s brutal assault—my national security team and I have worked closely with regional partners to do everything possible to secure the release of our fellow citizens.  We saw the first results of that effort in late October, when two Americans were reunited with their loved ones.  Today’s deal should bring home additional American hostages, and I will not stop until they are all released.

Today’s deal is a testament to the tireless diplomacy and determination of many dedicated individuals across the United States Government to bring Americans home.


Statement by Vice President Harris on the Hostage Release in Gaza


Today, thanks to the leadership of President Biden and other leaders, an agreement has been reached that will lead to the release of dozens of hostages who were taken in brutal acts of terrorism by Hamas on October 7. Doug and I pray for the well-being of all the hostages and are grateful some will soon be reunited with their loved ones.

I welcome the commitment that Israel has made to support an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out and to ensure additional humanitarian assistance reaches civilians in Gaza. The flow of aid must substantially increase and civilians must be protected. We also call on Hamas to release all the remaining hostages.

President Biden and I have no higher priority than the safety of Americans, and we welcome that today’s agreement means some Americans should be coming home. As I have told families of Americans held hostage: as they advocate for the release of their loved ones, they are not alone. We will not waver in our commitment to these Americans.


Release of Hostages in Gaza


The United States welcomes the deal to release 50 hostages, including American citizens, held by Hamas since its October 7 attack on Israel.  I cannot imagine the ordeal that each of these individuals has endured over the past few weeks, and I am thankful that they will be reunited with their loved ones soon.

Today’s outcome is the result of tireless diplomacy and relentless effort across the Department and broader United States government.  I appreciate the leadership and ongoing partnership of Egypt and Qatar in this work.  I also thank the government of Israel for supporting a humanitarian pause that will facilitate the transfer of hostages to safety and allow additional humanitarian assistance to reach Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

While this deal marks significant progress, we will not rest as long as Hamas continues to hold hostages in Gaza.  My highest priority is the safety and security of Americans overseas, and we will continue our efforts to secure the release of every hostage and their swift reunification with their families.