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WASHINGTON — The more than 130 people who Israel says are still held in the Gaza Strip are about to reach a grim milestone: two months in captivity.
Talks to free those abducted on Oct. 7 have stalled over Hamas’ refusal to release all of the remaining women, US and regional officials say. Mediators from Qatar and Egypt are trying to revive the shaky truce between Israel and the Palestinian militants, which, before its collapse on Friday, saw more than 100 Israeli and foreign hostages — most of them women and children — freed from the Hamas-run territory.
“Let me be crystal clear: Hamas’ refusal to release the remaining young women is what broke this deal and ended the pause in the fighting,” President Joe Biden said at a fundraising event on Tuesday. “These women and everyone still being held hostage by Hamas need to be returned to their families immediately."