US President Joe Biden misheard a question from a reporter who asked whether Israel should delay a potential ground invasion of Gaza until more hostages can get out, when he answered, “yes,” the White House said.
“The president was far away. He didn’t hear the full question. The question sounded like ‘Would you like to see more hostages released?’ He wasn’t commenting on anything else,” White House spokesperson Ben LaBolt said.
Biden was walking up the steps to board Air Force One when a reporter shouted the question over the sound of the plane’s engines. Biden stopped for a moment and said, “yes,” and then proceeded onto the plane.
Two hostages released
On Friday night Israel time, Hamas released two US hostages, mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan, who were kidnapped in its attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7. The Raanans are American-Israeli citizens who are currently living in Chicago.
Hamas has more than 200 hostages, according to the IDF, and has shared few signs about their wellbeing. Among the hostages are at least another 10 Americans, the White House said.