US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
US National Security Advisor Jake SullivanREUTERS/Leah Millis

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that there are efforts to return hostages held in Gaza by groups other than Hamas.

“We also are aware that it’s not just Hamas holding hostages. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another terrorist group that participated in the brutal massacre on October 7, is holding some — and other groups who are not directly affiliated but have loose connections to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas are also holding hostages,” Sullivan told NBC’s “Meet the Press”.

“Part of the effort here is to ensure all of these groups somehow get connected to a deal in which every last possible hostage in Gaza who is still alive gets turned back over and reunited with their families,” he added.

His comments came as Israel contemplates continuing the temporary ceasefire beyond Monday, when it is expected to end after Hamas releases a fourth group of hostages.

The War Cabinet gathered on Sunday evening to discuss the possibility of extending the ceasefire.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the mediators are discussing the possibility of extending the ceasefire, in exchange for the release of at least 20 more women and children who were kidnapped to the Gaza Strip and the release of more Palestinian Arab prisoners by Israel.

According to sources in Egypt, after the women and children are released, Hamas would release elderly men, followed by bodies of deceased hostages.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday night that Israel is ready to extend the ceasefire in an exchange for the release of ten hostages every day.

He also added that he spoke with US President Joe Biden and told him that “at the end of the outline, we will go to realizing our goals with full force: Eliminating Hamas, ensuring that Gaza will not go back to being what it was and – of course – releasing all of our hostages.”

Earlier on Sunday, Biden gave an address following the release of the latest group of Israeli hostages and foreign nationals from Hamas captivity, and expressed the US desire to extend the ceasefire.

"We will not stop working until every one of the hostages is returned to their loved ones," Biden stated.

Qatari Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said on Saturday that Qatar is hoping to extend the truce between Israel and Hamas beyond the agreed upon four days.

"What we are hoping for is that the momentum that has carried from the releases of these two days and from this agreement of four days will allow us to extend the truce beyond these four days and therefore get into more serious discussions about the rest of the hostages," Al-Ansari told CNN.