February 24, 2024

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War between Israel and Hamas intensifies as humanitarian crisis escalates in Gaza: Live updates

1:21 PM ET, November 21, 2023

Here’s what will happen to the released hostages once an agreement is reached, according to a White House official

From CNN’s Betsy Klein

The White House provided an overview of what will happen to the released hostages held by Hamas after six weeks of being held in “abhorrent” conditions.

Pending an agreement, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday that the first step would be safe passage into Israel, followed by “immediate medical attention.”

He added: “We have to assume that many of them need some kind of medical care and that they are being held in appalling conditions. So they will have the opportunity to obtain that medical care.”

He noted that some hostages may have long-term medical needs.

While he declined to speculate on the size or nationalities of the potential group of hostages that could be released, Kirby noted that once medical care is in place, there will be efforts to return the citizens to their countries of origin and connect them with their families.

Kirby said that if US citizens were included in the potential hostage release, after prioritizing medical care, the US State Department would provide assistance.

“The State Department will make sure they are taken care of from a consular perspective and provide them with any assistance they may need to follow up on their movements,” he said.

Kirby also said US President Joe Biden is “personally engaged in moving the process forward” as negotiations continue.

The president “has been in touch with his national security team and the team on the ground that helped negotiate this, and literally every day he gets updates on what’s going on — in fact, usually several times a day — and gets involved,” Kirby said. Because he felt it was appropriate to personally intervene.”

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