Qatar PM meets with Israeli, US spy chiefs to discuss 'building on' Gaza truce: Sourcetext_fields
Doha/Washington: In order to further the two-day extension of the truce between Israel and the Palestinian organisation Hamas, the leaders of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israel's Mossad met with the prime minister of Qatar on Tuesday in Doha, according to a source briefed on the meeting.
The meeting was “to build on the progress of the extended humanitarian pause agreement and to initiate further discussions about the next phase of a potential deal,” the source said.
The source noted that there was uncertainty about the outcome of the discussions, which were also attended by Egyptian officials, Reuters reported.
CIA Director William Burns was in Doha “for meetings on the Israel-Hamas conflict including discussions on hostages,” a US official said on condition of anonymity. The official did provide further clarification.
The Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, and the intelligence service Mossad met the day after Qatar announced a two-day extension of the initial four-day peace agreement in Gaza, which was set to expire overnight.
The Palestinian militant group and Israel have been negotiating through Qatar, where several political leaders of Hamas are based.
The source stated that during the discussion on Tuesday, officials talked about potential terms of a new phase of the truce agreement, such as Hamas freeing hostages who are males or military members rather than merely women and children. They also talked about what could be required to achieve a cease-fire that lasted longer than a few days.
Prior to the summit, Qatar communicated with Hamas in order to determine what the group might agree on. The insider further stated that the Israelis and Hamas are currently discussing the ideas explored at the meeting internally.
The truce has given the Gaza Strip its first break in seven weeks, during which Israel extensively bombarded the region in retaliation for an attack on October 7 by Hamas who killed 1,200 people and captured 240 others.
Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas which controls Gaza. More than 15,000 Palestinians have died as a result of Israel's bombardment of the small, densely populated area, with almost 40% of those dead being children, according to Gaza's health authorities.
Previously, on November 9, Barnea and Burns travelled to Qatar to meet Sheikh Mohammed.
The first four days of the truce saw the release of fifty Israeli women and children held captive by Hamas. In exchange, Israel released 150 women and children who were imprisoned in Israeli prisons for security reasons.
In exchange for an additional two days of the truce, Hamas agreed to release ten Israeli women and children per day.
Thus yet, there's been no sign that Hamas will release any of the captured Israeli men or military personnel.