The White House says there is no agreement between Israel and Hamas yet – its spokesman
Written by Steve Holland
WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – A White House spokesman said on Saturday evening that Israel and Hamas have not yet reached an agreement on a temporary ceasefire.
The spokesman said that the United States continues to work to reach an agreement between the two sides. A second US official confirmed that no agreement had been reached.
The Washington Post reported earlier on Saturday evening that a Qatari-brokered agreement had been reached between Israel and Hamas for a five-day ceasefire in exchange for the release of 50 or more hostages.
“An agreement has not yet been reached, but we continue to work hard to reach an agreement,” Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement.
Israel pledged to destroy Hamas after the attack carried out by the armed group on October 7 inside Israel, in which its fighters killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostage, according to Israeli statistics.
As the conflict entered its seventh week, authorities in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip raised the death toll to 12,300, including 5,000 children.
Israel said it was preparing to expand its offensive against Hamas militants into southern Gaza after air strikes killed dozens of Palestinians, including civilians who were reportedly taking shelter in two schools.
(Reporting by Steve Holland in Wilmington, DE; Writing by Moira Warburton in Washington; Editing by Tom Hogue and Kim Coghill)