Photos of hostages
Photos of hostagesArutz Sheva

Relatives of 81 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza sent a letter to US President Joe Biden in which they urge the President him to press Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and all other parties to reach an agreement to secure the release of their relatives.

The 587 family members wrote to Biden that they are immensely grateful for the hostage release deal currently being brokered by US negotiators.

“We recognize that these efforts are at a critical moment and we understand that you need to push all parties, including Egypt, Qatar, and Israel, to conclude and implement this deal. We highly appreciate your willingness to do so, and state, unequivocally, that we support, and desperately need, your efforts. We encourage you to use the means available to you, to press and convince all parties, including the Israeli Prime Minister, to agree to the deal that you assess is reasonable.”

“Simply put,” wrote the relatives, “ensuring the hostage deal strengthens Israel's security. As Israel's closest ally, we seek your assistance in steering the Israeli Prime Minister towards the right course of action. Above all, the Israeli public yearns for the safe return of the hostages. We are reaching out to you because we are increasingly frustrated and worried about the lack of ongoing communication and commitment from the Israeli Prime Minister and the War Cabinet to the hostage release cause.”

“We stand ready to work closely with your administration to mobilize the Israeli people and to articulate to the American people and their elected officials the need to support the current deal. We believe that the hostage families could play an important role in garnering public support to make the deal possible,” they added.

The families of the hostages wrote to Biden that they, along with the people of Israel, “deeply appreciate your leadership and dedication to resolving this crisis. We have faith in your ability to negotiate a deal that prioritizes the security and well-being of all people affected and wish to help in mobilizing support for that deal.”

The letter was sent as the Israeli delegation, headed by Mossad chief David Barnea, headed to Qatar on Friday to continue the talks on a hostage release deal.

On Sunday night, the Political-Security Cabinet approved the departure of the Israeli delegation to Qatar.

The Cabinet gave the Israeli delegation a general mandate and authorized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to discuss tactical details.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed optimism on Wednesday that a deal for a ceasefire in Gaza in exchange for the release of hostages was close.

“It’s getting closer. I think the gaps are narrowing, and I think an agreement is very much possible. We worked very hard with Qatar, with Egypt, and with Israel to put a strong proposal on the table. We did that; Hamas wouldn’t accept it. They came back with other requests, other demands. The negotiators are working on that right now. But I believe it’s very much doable, and it’s very much necessary,” he told the Saudi Al Hadath channel.

Blinken added that “if Hamas cares at all about the people it purports to represent, then it would reach an agreement, because that would have the immediate effect of a ceasefire, alleviating the tremendous suffering of people, bringing more humanitarian assistance in, and then giving us the possibility of having something more lasting.”

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)