American Hostage Might Be Released on Sunday, Jake Sullivan Says

At least one American citizen could be among the group of hostages Hamas is set to release on Sunday, Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“We do have reason to believe that there will be an American released today,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Israel and Hamas are halfway through a four-day pause in a war that began after Hamas assailants killed about 1,200 people in Israel on Oct. 7, including in their homes and at a music festival, kidnapping about 240 people.

Under an agreement that the United States helped broker with Qatar and Egypt, Hamas will return 50 hostages, all women and children, during the temporary cease-fire. Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners, many of whom were detained for violent crimes.

Over the past two days Hamas has returned 26 Israeli hostages, 14 Thai citizens and one citizen of the Philippines, all women and children. No Americans have yet been freed.

About 10 American citizens are thought to be held hostage by Hamas. They include Avigail Idan, whose parents were gunned down by Hamas. She turned 4 on Friday.

Mr. Biden praised the initial hostage release this past week and said the United States was committed to the return of all Americans.

“We also will not stop until we get these hostages brought home and an answer to their whereabouts,” he said.

Mr. Sullivan said he could not confirm if Avigail would be released on Sunday.

“At least one American will be released today. I cannot confirm who it will be, or that it will absolutely happen,” Mr. Sullivan said, adding that “we are dealing with a terrorist group.”

Mr. Sullivan sidestepped questions about whether Mr. Biden would seek to impose any conditions on further aid to Israel, including a freeze on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. But he said Mr. Biden was working toward a peace plan that includes a two-state solution.

“We believe that this is absolutely a moment for us to be working with everyone in the region,” Mr. Sullivan said. “We do think this is a moment for that kind of diplomacy.”