Kamala Harris
Kamala HarrisREUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

US Vice President Kamala Harris met on Tuesday with families of Americans taken hostage by Hamas on October 7.

A readout published by the White House following the meeting said that Harris “underscored that President Biden and she have no higher priority than reuniting the hostages with their loved ones. She also reaffirmed the US commitment to bring home the remains of those who have been tragically confirmed to be deceased.

“The Vice President again condemned Hamas as a brutal terrorist organization and its horrific use of sexual violence, reaffirmed that the threat Hamas poses to Israel must be eliminated, and denounced the rise of antisemitism worldwide,” the readout continued.

“The Vice President expressed her continued support for these families and they discussed the agony and pain felt over the past 6 months. The Vice President told them that they and their loved ones remain at the forefront of her mind and in her prayers as the Biden-Harris Administration works to secure the release of all the hostages.”

Finally, said the White House, Harris “provided an update on US efforts to secure the release of all hostages and an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.”

The meeting came amid as indirect talks between Hamas and Israel on a hostage release deal continue.

According to the understandings which were reported in the Qatari newspaper Al Araby Al Jadeed, Hamas will release 40 hostages in exchange for a temporary ceasefire of six weeks.

According the proposal, the number of displaced persons allowed to return to the northern Gaza Strip would be increased to 6,000 from 2,000.

An ongoing dispute over the displaced persons revolves around Israel's demand to inspect everyone who returns to the northern Gaza Strip, a demand that Hamas refuses.

Despite reports of progress in the talks as recently as Sunday, Hamas published a statement overnight Monday in which it said that Israel's proposal that it received from Qatari and Egyptian mediators did not meet any of its demands.

At the same time, the terrorist organization group added it would study the proposal, which it described as “intransigent”.