Washington Post backs down from story on Hamas hostage deal

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The Washington Post backed away from its claim Saturday evening that Israel and Hamas had reached a tentative deal that would free at least 50 hostages in exchange for a five day pause in fighting on both sides, after a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson tempered the claim online.

In an alert around 8:30 p.m. Saturday evening, the Post reported that Israel and Hamas had reached a “tentative U.S.-brokered deal” that would pause the deadly conflict in Gaza and allow some women and child hostages to be free. At 9:27 p.m., National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson reposted the story on X, formerly Twitter, with her own clarification:

“We have not reached a deal yet, but we continue to work hard to get to a deal,” Watson wrote.

The article was subsequently updated to say that the U.S. was “close” to a deal with Israel and Hamas to free some of the hostages, but no correction or clarification was added to the story. As of Sunday morning, the story had last been updated at 10:52 p.m. on Saturday.

The Post did not immediately respond to and inquiry about why no correction or clarification was added to the article.

Following the Post’s story, and remarks from Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani who told reporters that there were only “minor” obstacles blocking a hostage deal, U.S. Deputy national security adviser Jon Finer hit the Sunday show circuit to say that the parties were “closer” than they have been to reaching a deal to free hostages.