US President Joe Biden said Tuesday he was deeply relieved that some hostages taken when Hamas militants stormed into Israel on October 7 will soon go free under a deal brokered with help from across the Middle East.
"I am extraordinarily gratified that some of these brave souls... will be reunited with their families once this deal is fully implemented," Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
Biden thanked the leaders of Qatar and Egypt for their "critical leadership" in reaching the deal and also hailed Israel for agreeing to an extended pause in fighting in Gaza to allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
He noted that two American hostages were freed in late October as part of intense diplomacy.
"Today's deal should bring home additional American hostages, and I will not stop until they are all released," Biden said.
The four-day truce announced Tuesday after weeks of all-out war marked the first major diplomatic breakthrough since fighting began more than six weeks ago.
Under the Qatar-brokered deal, Palestinian militants will release 50 women and children kidnapped during their October 7 raids, in which Israel says 1,200 people were killed, most of them civilians.
A senior US official said three Americans, including three-year-old Abigail Mor Idan, were among the 50 earmarked for staggered release from Thursday.