The White House does not believe Hamas purposefully held back two American women who were expected to be freed as part of the release of hostages, a senior Biden administration official said Monday, according to CNN.
The official said on a call with reporters that “so far” Hamas intentionally holding back the two American women hostages based on their American citizenship, was not a “conclusion we would draw.”
The official would not elaborate on how the administration came to that belief.
The White House has said three Americans – four-year-old Avigail Idan who was released on Sunday, and two women – were expected to be among the 50 hostages Hamas would release over the course of a four-day truce.
The Biden administration still hopes the two women will be released, the official said, pointing to the extension of the agreement by two days, which was agreed upon on Monday, and which will see Hamas release 10 hostages each day.
That leaves open the possibility that the two American women could be released on Tuesday or Wednesday.
President Joe Biden has stressed his commitment to bringing back all the American hostages being held by Hamas.