The U.S. has advised Israeli officials that a delay in a possible ground offensive in Gaza would allow more time for the U.S. to work with its regional partners to release more hostages, according to a U.S. official familiar with Biden administration’s thinking on the matter.
The official, who requested anonymity to discuss the private discussions, said it was unclear how much the argument will “move the needle” on Israeli thinking.
The official noted that Qatar’s help in mediating with Hamas was able to win the release of two captives, Judith and Natalie Raanan.
The process that led to their release — just two of the more than the 222 people believed taken hostage in Israel in the Oct. 7 attacks — started soon after the Hamas operation. The official said arranging for the release of the Raanans “took longer to come together than folks really realize,” AP reports.