Israel agrees to resume Hamas talks on hostage deal with mediation from Egypt, Qatar, and the U.S.

David Barnea, the chief of the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency.

26th May 2024 – (Jerusalem) Israel has reportedly agreed to engage in renewed discussions with Hamas regarding a potential hostage deal. According to Israel’s state-owned Kan TV, talks are scheduled to take place next week with the mediation of Egypt, Qatar, and the United States.

During a meeting in Paris on Friday, David Barnea, the chief of the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency, presented a new proposal approved by the Israeli war cabinet to William Burns, the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.

An Israeli government official, speaking anonymously, confirmed that the three officials discussed the basis for continuing negotiations next week based on the new proposals put forward by Egypt and Qatar, with the active involvement of the United States.

Kan TV reported that Burns presented potential solutions to the contentious issues that had hindered previous negotiations. It further stated that the upcoming talks will be led by Egypt and Qatar, with the United States playing an active role.

The previous round of ceasefire negotiations in the Gaza Strip, which occurred in Egypt, collapsed earlier this month.

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, informed the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel that the movement had not been informed by the mediators about any resumption of negotiations. Hamdan expressed scepticism towards the current talks, stating that new negotiations were unnecessary. He emphasized that negotiations should focus on halting Israeli aggression, lifting the siege on Gaza, and achieving a fair exchange deal.

Gaza health authorities have accused Israel of impeding the departure of wounded and sick individuals from Gaza. According to Ashraf Al-Qedra, a spokesman for Gaza health authorities, over 20,000 injured individuals and patients with conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and blood disorders are awaiting the opening of the Rafah border crossing under inhumane conditions resulting from the occupation, siege, and the ongoing conflict.