US, Israeli spy chiefs to meet in Doha for Gaza talks

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Qatar has been actively negotiating behind the scenes, with support from Egypt and the United States, to secure a truce in Gaza and facilitate a hostage release deal….reports Asian Lite News

Chiefs of intelligence agencies of Israel and the United States will visit Doha on Wednesday for talks on a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

CIA Director William Burns and Mossad Chief David Barnea are scheduled to meet with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, AFP reported.

Qatar has been actively negotiating behind the scenes, with support from Egypt and the United States, to secure a truce in Gaza and facilitate a hostage release deal.

Barnea recently visited Doha on Friday as part of renewed efforts to reach an agreement. Egypt is also set to hold meetings this week. The source, speaking anonymously due to the sensitivity of the talks, said the discussions in Doha aimed to transition from an initial truce to a more sustainable period of calm.

Negotiations have focused on a phased deal, starting with an initial truce, based on a framework proposed by US President Joe Biden in late May. However, a Palestinian official indicated that while a Hamas delegation would participate in indirect talks with Israel, several significant points of disagreement remain.

One major issue is Israel’s refusal to release 100 Palestinian prisoners with long sentences, including senior leaders from Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front. Hamas also demands a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Rafah crossing with Egypt and the Philadelphi corridor during the fifth week of any truce.

Additional points of contention include the return of displaced people in Gaza. Recently, Hamas signalled a willingness to drop its demand for a complete ceasefire, which Israel has consistently rejected.

Israeli security chief in Cairo

An Israeli delegation, headed by Shin Bet security service chief Ronen Bar, spoke in Cairo on a ceasefire deal with Hamas, the media reported.

State-owned Kan TV reported on Monday that Bar also discussed with Egyptian officials the means to prevent weapons smuggling by Hamas from Egypt to Gaza.

Bar later visited Qatar to meet with negotiators there on a ceasefire deal for the war that has entered its 10th month and secure the release of about 120 hostages still held in Gaza, some of whom were feared dead, Xinhua news agency reported.

On Sunday, ahead of the delegation’s departure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would only agree to a ceasefire deal if it allowed Israel to resume its military operations in Gaza following the release of hostages.

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