1:21 PM ET, November 21, 2023
Here’s what will happen to released hostages once a deal is struck, according to a White House official
From CNN’s Betsy Klein
The White House gave a broad overview of what will happen to released hostages held by Hamas after six weeks held in “abhorrent” conditions.
Pending a deal, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday that the first step would be safe passage into Israel, followed by “immediate medical care.”
“We have to assume that many of them need some kind of medical attention and that they are being held in abhorrent conditions. So they will be offered a chance to get that medical attention,” he said.
Some of the hostages, he suggested, might have long-term medical needs.
While he declined to speculate on the size or nationality of the potential pool of hostages who could be released, Kirby suggested that once medical attention is provided, there will be efforts to repatriate citizens to their home countries and reunite them with their families .
Should there be U.S. citizens included in a potential hostage release, Kirby said, after medical care is prioritized, the U.S. State Department will provide assistance.
“The State Department will make sure they take care of them from a consular perspective and provide whatever assistance they may need for follow-on moves,” he said.
Kirby also said that US President Joe Biden has been “personally engaged in moving the process forward” as negotiations continue.
Kirby said the president has “been in contact with his national security team and the team on the ground helping to negotiate this, literally every day getting updates on what’s going on — actually usually several times a day — and jumping in in which he felt fit to jump into personally.”