The White House offered a broad overview of what will happen to released hostages held by Hamas following six weeks held in “abhorrent” conditions.
Pending a deal, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters 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 sort of medical attention and that they’re being held in abhorrent conditions. And so they’ll be offered a chance to get that medical attention,” he said.
Some of the hostages, he suggested, could have longer-term medical needs.
While he declined to speculate on the size or nationalities of the potential pool of hostages that could be released, Kirby suggested that once medical attention is provided, there will be efforts to repatriate citizens to their home countries and connect them with their families.
Should there be American citizens included in a potential hostage release, Kirby said, after medical care is prioritized, the US State Department will provide assistance.
“The State Department would make sure that they’re looking after them from a consular perspective and providing whatever assistance they might need for follow-on movements,” he said.
Kirby also said US President Joe Biden has been “personally engaged in moving the process forward” as negotiations continue.
Kirby said that the president has “been in touch with his national security team and the team on the ground that have been helping negotiate this, literally every day getting updates on what’s going on — in fact, usually multiple times a day — and jumping in as he felt appropriate to jump in personally.”