“We should get... We should have a ceasefire, not a ceasefire... we should have these hostages released and then we can talk,” said Mr Biden in response to Feinberg’s question.
Mr Biden was speaking at an event on the economy at the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex. His comments came as Hamas said it had released two elderly Israeli hostages, following Qatari-Egyptian mediation.
The release of the two hostages, 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz and 79-year-old Nurit Cooper, was confirmed by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Hamas and other militants in Gaza are believed to have taken roughly 220 people, including an unconfirmed number of foreigners and dual nationals.
The group’s attacks on 7 October killed more than 1,400 Israelis while more than 5,100 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory bombardments and airstrikes.
Two US-Israeli dual citizens who were kidnapped by Hamas earlier this month were released on 20 October.
Judith Ranaan, 59, and her daughter Natalie Raanan, 17, signified a breakthrough in the crisis as US officials seek the release of roughly 200 other hostages from 40 countries including 10 Americans who remain unaccounted for, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The Biden administration said that its top priority remains the release of American hostages. The president has previously spoken with families of Americans believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas after the group’s attacks that killed hundreds.
Mr Biden also spent several hours speaking with families of Israeli hostages and families of victims during his visit to Israel on Wednesday.
“We will not stop until we get their loved ones home,” Mr Biden said in a statement last week. “I have no higher priority than the safety of Americans held hostage around the world.”
Secretary Blinken said on Friday that “the urgent work to free every single American, to free all other hostages, continues, as does our work to secure the safe passage out of Gaza for the Americans who are trapped there”.
The Biden administration deployed longtime state department official Steven Gillen to lead hostage recovery efforts from Israel.
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