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Biden believes Gaza hostage release deal is near

President Joe Biden pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey
— Washington (AFP)

US President Joe Biden said Monday he believes a deal to free hostages in Gaza is close, as hopes grew for a Qatari-brokered accord to release some captives in exchange for a pause in fighting.

"I believe so," Biden, who was taking part in a Thanksgiving turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House, said when asked whether a hostage deal was near.

Biden then crossed his fingers to signal he hoped for good luck.

Qatar's prime minister said Sunday that a deal to free some of the 240 hostages that Hamas seized in its October 7 attack on Israel in return for a temporary ceasefire now hinges on "minor" practical issues.

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