Israeli Delegation Heads to Qatar for Ceasefire, Hostage Negotiations

By Yoni Weiss

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari, speaks during a weekly press briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Doha, Qatar, last week. (REUTERS/Imad Creidi)

An Israeli delegation traveled Monday to Qatar, marking a significant step forward in discussions aimed at brokering a Gaza ceasefire and potential release of the remaining hostages. The move comes in response to increasing pressure from the United States, urging Israel to swiftly agree to a truce and avert a potential assault on Rafah, the last city in the southern Gaza Strip.

With representatives from the IDF and the Mossad, the delegation’s primary objective is to establish an operational center that will play a crucial role in supporting ongoing negotiations. This includes the critical task of vetting proposed Palestinian terrorists as part of a potential hostage release agreement.

Recent talks held in Paris and updates from the White House suggest a growing understanding of the key components of a deal.

As discussions progress, anticipation builds around proximity talks involving Israel and Hamas, scheduled to take place first in Qatar and later in Cairo throughout the week.

Despite these positive signs, public positions from both sides reveal a stark divide. Hamas links the release of hostages to broader settlement conditions, while Israel insists on a temporary cessation of hostilities and maintains its stance on retaining overall security control for Gaza. These negotiations unfold against the backdrop of the resignation of the Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister, adding a layer of complexity to the broader political landscape.

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