(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden delivered an address on Friday addressing the first exchange of hostages and prisoners between Israel and Hamas. The exchange coincides with a four-day pause of fighting that is expected to allow greater humanitarian relief for people in Gaza.
“It’s only a start, but so far it’s gone well,” Biden said of the release of 24 hostages, including 13 Israeli women and children.
The president expects more hostages will be released through the weekend, as the four-day cease-fire continues.
Not included in the group of hostages handed over to Israel were the three Americans still held by Hamas. Biden was unsure if they would be included in the next round of releases, but hopeful for thier return to the U.S.
“My hope and expectation will be soon,” Biden said of the American hostages.
Biden pointed to diplomatic efforts from his own administration, the governments of Israel, Egypt, and Qatar as helping secure the deal.
“Today has been a product of a lot of hard work and weeks of personal engagement,” Biden said.
Biden also emphasized that the pause in fighting will provide more time to deploy aid to the people of Gaza.
“Since my trip to Israel last month I’ve been focused on accelerating the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza,” Biden said.
Apart from the hostage deal that America helped broker, Hamas also released a group of Thai workers who were released thanks to separate diplomacy conducted by the government of Thailand.