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Hostage rescue complicates U.S. push for a cease-fire deal

The recent rescue of four hostages will likely complicate Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s efforts to broker a new cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas that would secure the release of the remaining captives in Gaza, a senior administration official has told NBC News.

The freeing of the hostages has strengthened Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s determination to continue pursuing military operations, rather than agreeing to a cease-fire, the official told NBC News. And the Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar, who has held out despite intense pressure for a deal from Qatar and Egypt, could take an even harder line because of the high number of civilian Palestinian casualties from the Israeli rescue operation.

The senior official said some of the civilian victims died in the crossfire from Hamas fighters responding to the Israeli operation. A second officialsaid Hamas is ultimately responsible for the Palestinian deaths by hiding hostages in densely populated areas.

He added that while the release of the four Israeli hostages is welcome news, it is not going to change the status quo because there is still a significant number of hostages remaining, including five Americans believed to be alive.

There are also three American hostages who were killed whose families are demanding the return of their remains.

Read more on nbcnews.com