President Joe Biden said on Tuesday the U.S. is "very close" to bringing hostages "home" amid reports of progress on reaching an agreement for the release of Israelis held by Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
"We are now very close, very close," Biden said at a White House meeting on countering the flow of fentanyl into the U.S.
"We could bring the hostages home very soon," he said, adding that he does not want to "get into the details."
Noting that he spoke recently with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as the emir of Qatar, which has been helping broker the deal, Biden said: "When we have more to say, we will, but things are looking good at the moment."
Biden's remarks came after both Netanyahu and Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas' political leader, indicated progress on reaching an agreement for the release of Israelis held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Several U.S. media outlets also reported on a possible Israel and Hamas deal to be announced on Tuesday, to release 50 women and children hostages in exchange for a four- to five-day pause and the release of three Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons for every hostage released.
Hamas is believed to be holding at least 239 hostages following a cross-border attack on Oct. 7. The Palestinian group says it is ready to release the captives in return for thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.