Israeli team en route to Paris for 'tough' hostage talks as Sinwar reemerges

After hopeful talks in Cairo with Hamas, Israeli officials warn against false hopes for swift hostage deal; Washington urges pre-Ramadan agreement; ministers insist: return all hostages or none

A summit aimed at brokering a deal for the release of Israelis held by Hamas is set to commence in Paris on Friday.
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According to U.S. sources, Mossad Director David Barnea is scheduled for preliminary individual discussions with CIA Director William Burns, Qatar's Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Thani and Egyptian Intelligence chief Abbas Kamel.
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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
Egyptian spy chief Abbas Kamel, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Thani, CIA Director William Burns, Mossad Director David Barnea and Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar
(Photo: EPA, AP, KARIM JAAFAR/AFP, Yariv Katz, Yair Sagi)
The initial talks will be followed by a comprehensive session that brings together the Israeli delegation, led by Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar and including Major General (ret.) Nitzan Alon, and envoys from the trio of nations mediating with Hamas.
The objective of this broader assembly is to draft a foundational agreement to guide future negotiations.
The summit in the French capital seeks to cement this groundwork, setting the stage for renewed dialogue between the involved parties, aiming for the safe return of the hostages.
Following discussions held this week in Cairo with the participation of a Hamas delegation, mediators have expressed optimism and determination to reach an agreed framework. The specifics, including numbers, key points and cease-fire duration, will be finalized only in negotiations with Hamas, after establishing a general consensus.
The duration of the negotiations remains uncertain, with estimates ranging from a few days to two weeks.
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הפגנה נגד מתן סיוע הומניטרי לעזה במעבר כרם שלום
הפגנה נגד מתן סיוע הומניטרי לעזה במעבר כרם שלום
Israeli protesters at Kerem Shalom border crossing blocking aid to Gaza in call for release of hostages
(Photo: Tzav 9)
Washington is keen to secure a deal before the start of Ramadan in two weeks. Mediators are pushing for an agreement, understanding that it could immediately impact hostilities along the northern border and lead to a cease-fire with Hezbollah.
Israeli sources have stressed that, despite the optimism, it is crucial not to give false hope to families whose loved ones have been in Gaza for 140 days that a deal could be secured soon.
They highlighted that Israel is entering complex and challenging negotiations, much dependent on a murderous terrorist organization that thrives on creating suffering and chaos.
Contrary to earlier reports, officials said, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar is not isolated; mediators are in talks with both Hamas’ leaders in and outside Gaza.
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נתניהו וסינוואר
נתניהו וסינוואר
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar
(Photo: Dana Kopel, Reuters)
Thursday night’s Security Cabinet meeting focused on hostage talks, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informing his ministers of the decision to send an Israeli delegation to Paris. Some ministers, including Minister Dudi Amsalem, reiterated the demand to "bring back all hostages or none."
Several ministers opposed the "all or nothing" approach, concerned it might yield no results. Netanyahu emphasized the need to exhaust all options to retrieve every hostage. The discussion ended with a unanimous agreement: Israel will continue the war until all its goals are met.
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