Kirby doesn’t know when discussions to resume Israel-Hamas truce will restart



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National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Sunday that he does not know when discussions to resume a truce between Israel and militant group Hamas will restart after the fighting reignited over the weekend.

“Well, I wish I knew the answer to that one,” Kirby said when NBC’s Kristen Welker pressed him on what the potential timeline was to get the negotiations back on track on “Meet the Press.”

“I – what I can tell you is that we are still working it really hard hour by hour to see if we can get the sides back to the table and see if we can get something moving. We would like that to happen today. But honestly, I just don’t know,” he continued.

The weeklong truce between Israel and Hamas ended on Friday after the militant group failed to produce a list of hostages to be released. Over the weeklong truce, Hamas released more than 100 hostages in exchange for Israel releasing about 240 Palestinian prisoners.

Kirby’s comments also come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled his country’s negotiators from Qatar, saying that they had reached an “impasse” with Hamas. He blamed the militant group for not upholding its end of the deal.

Kirby also blamed Hamas on Sunday for the truce falling apart.

“Well, there are no official negotiations going on right now, Kristen and that’s because of Hamas,” Kirby said. “Hamas failed to come up with yet another list of women and children that could be released and we know they’re holding additional women and children – not combatants, not female IDF soldiers but innocent civilians, women and children that they have that they couldn’t put on a list and and turn that in.”

“So unfortunately, the negotiations have stopped. That said what hasn’t stopped is our own involvement, trying to get those back on track and trying to discuss with those partners and all those interlocutors, see if we can’t get it back in place,” he continued.

Israel has since escalated its bombardment on Gaza and issued more evacuations in southern Gaza on Sunday, according to The Associated Press. The Israeli military said Saturday it struck 400 targets in Gaza, including 50 in southern Gaza, where an estimated 2 million civilians shelter from the conflict.

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