Hostage release talks 'progressing well,' says UN Secretary-General

Israeli officials show 'cautious optimism' about ongoing deal negotiations with Hamas in Paris but add process could take days to weeks
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Israeli protesters outside his New York home on Friday that talks for a potential hostage release deal with Hamas in Paris are "progressing well" and that there’s "a glimmer of hope to reach an agreement very soon."
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
More stories:
A protester addressed Guterres, asking him what he would do if his own children were held in captivity. "I would do everything I could. I have colleagues who are experiencing this," he replied. "I know exactly the terrible suffering they’re going through. I do everything in my power, but unfortunately, I don’t have the authority."
2 View gallery
מזכ״ל האו״ם אנטוניו גוטרש עם המפגינים מחוץ לביתו בניו יורק
מזכ״ל האו״ם אנטוניו גוטרש עם המפגינים מחוץ לביתו בניו יורק
Antonio Guterres outside his New York home
The protester rebuked him, claiming he worked more for the sake of UNRWA than that of the hostages. "That's not true. I’ve been following this from day one. I have no authority. If I had any, they would have already been released, and I’ve been calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages from day one," Guterres said.
Talks at the Paris summit began at 4 p.m. on Friday, during which Mossad Chief David Barnea met with CIA Director William Burns, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed al-Thani, and Egyptian Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamel.
Israel now chooses to show "cautious optimism,” hoping this most recent round of talks will succeed in leading to concrete negotiations and a hostage deal, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved expanding the Israeli delegation's mandate - which can discuss the details of the deal according to the outline reached in the previous summit.
2 View gallery
עבאס כאמל ראש המודיעין הכללי של מצרים, מוחמד אל-תאני ראש ממשלת קטאר, רונן בר, דדי ברנע, ויליאם ברנס
עבאס כאמל ראש המודיעין הכללי של מצרים, מוחמד אל-תאני ראש ממשלת קטאר, רונן בר, דדי ברנע, ויליאם ברנס
Abbas Kamel, Mohammed al-Thani, William Burns, David Barnea, Ronen Bar
(Photo: EPA, AP, KARIM JAAFAR/AFP, Yariv Katz, Yair Sagi)
It’s unclear how long the negotiation process will last, with estimates in Israel ranging from a few days to weeks. The U.S. is eager to reach a deal before the start of Ramadan, which is set to begin on March 11. The mediators are pushing for a deal because they understand that an agreement could calm tensions on Israel’s northern border and prevent escalation by Hezbollah.
Israeli officials have noted that despite the optimism for the summit, it would be wrong to give the hostages’ families the impression that a deal will be reached very soon. They stressed that Israel is entering a complex and difficult negotiation process, heavily influenced by a terrorist organization that enjoys the suffering of others.
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.