Mossad, CIA chiefs in Qatar for talks on hostage release

Meeting comes after Qatari officials meet Hamas leaders a day earlier; President says no viable option for hostage release on the table despite third party claims

Mossad Chief David Barnea and CIA Chief William Burns met Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani on Thursday to discuss terms for a release of hostages abducted by Hamas, in return for a pause in the war in Gaza. The talks include the question of whether fuel would be allowed into the Strip after Israel refused to permit its delivery out of concern it would be used by Hamas to run its war machine.
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A source told the Reuters news agency that the meeting itself could speed up an agreement in the negotiations to bring about hostage release.
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מוחמד בן עבד א-רחמן בן ג'אסם א-ת'אני
מוחמד בן עבד א-רחמן בן ג'אסם א-ת'אני
David Barnea, heikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani, William Burns
(Photo: Yariv Katz, AP)
CNN reported that the deal discussed was for the release of 10 to 20 Israeli hostages and a three day pause. Hamas was expected to deliver a list naming hostages it is holding.
The meeting comes after Qatari officials met on Wednesday with members of the Hamas politburo and discussed the possible release of 10 to 15 hostages and a two-day lull.
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יצחק הרצוג
יצחק הרצוג
Issac Herzog
(Photo: GPO)
President Issac Herzog told NBC in an interview on Thursday that there was no substantial offer from Hamas. "There is no proposal that is viable from Hamas," Herzog said. "Despite third party sending optimistic messages to the news reals, up till now there is no real substantial information that is showing any real process on the table."
The Prime Minister's office said Israel there would be no ceasefire without the release of the hostages. In a statement the PMO said that agreed on a four hour humanitarian pause everyday to allow resident of northern Gaza to move to the south adding that on Wednesday, 50,000 took advantage of the safe route taking them out of harms way.
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