1:21 PM ET, November 21, 2023
Here’s what will happen to the freed hostages once a deal is reached, according to a White House official
From CNN’s Betsy Klein
The White House gave a detailed overview of what will happen to the hostages, who were freed by Hamas after six weeks 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.”
“We have to assume that many of them need some kind of medical attention and that they are being held in abhorrent conditions so that they will be given the opportunity to receive that medical attention,” he said.
Some of the hostages may have long-term medical needs, he suggested.
Although he declined to speculate on the number or nationality of hostages who may be freed, Kirby suggested efforts would be made to return citizens to their home countries and reunite them with their families once medical care is provided.
Kirby said the U.S. State Department would provide assistance if the hostages were to be released after medical care was prioritized if U.S. citizens were involved.
“The State Department will ensure that they are taken care of from a consular perspective and provide them with the assistance they need for follow-up movements,” he said.
Kirby also said that US President Joe Biden is “personally involved in moving the process forward” as negotiations continue.
Kirby said the president helps negotiate this with his national security team and team in the field, gets updates on what’s going on every day — in fact, usually several times a day — and jumps in when he personally feels it’s appropriate to jump in.”