© Reuters. Palestinians walk during rainfall, after Israeli forces raided Jenin refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank November 19, 2023. REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta
By David Morgan and Jasper Ward
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A deal to secure the release of some of the hostages held in Gaza by Hamas militants is closer than ever in the Islamist group’s war with Israel, a White House official said on Sunday.
White House deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said an agreement to free “considerably more than 12” hostages would also likely include an extended pause in the fighting and allow for the distribution of humanitarian assistance in Gaza.
Fighting raged on Sunday, with Hamas militants battling Israeli forces trying to push into Gaza’s largest refugee camp, the day after Israeli and U.S. officials denied a Washington Post report that a deal had been reached.
“What I can say at this point is that some of the outstanding areas of disagreement, in a very complicated, very sensitive negotiation, have been narrowed,” Finer told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.
“I believe we are closer than we have been in quite some time, maybe closer than we have been since the…
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