Biden admin has discussed potentially negotiating unilateral deal with Hamas to free U.S. hostages ( )

Such talks, if they begin, wouldn't include Israel; instead, they would be conducted through Qatari interlocutors.

Biden administration officials have discussed potentially negotiating a unilateral deal with Hamas to secure the release of five Americans being held hostage in Gaza if current cease-fire talks involving Israel fail, according to two current senior U.S. officials and two former senior U.S. officials. 

Such negotiations would not include Israel and would be conducted through Qatari interlocutors, as current talks have been, said the officials, all of whom have been briefed on the discussions.

White House officials declined to comment. 

The Biden administration has said it believes Hamas is holding five American hostages who were abducted during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel. U.S. officials are also hoping to recover the remains of three additional U.S. citizens who are believed to have been killed on that day by Hamas, which then took their bodies into Gaza.

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