Israeli team returns from Doha after Gaza truce negotiations hits ‘dead end’

Ahram Online , Saturday 2 Dec 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office announced the return of a Mossad team from Doha on Saturday after negotiations for a new Gaza truce reached a "dead end."

Smoke rises following an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (AP


Netanyahu's office said in a statement: "After the negotiations reached a dead end and under the guidance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mossad Chief David Barnea ordered his team in Doha to return to Israel."

A delegation from the Israeli Mossad arrived in Doha on Saturday morning to discuss renewing the truce and exchanging detainees with Hamas, according to the office’s announcement.

An informed source told the BBC that the Mossad visit was supposed to discuss another temporary cessation of the Israeli war on Gaza and focus on the possibility of releasing new categories of Israeli captives in Gaza other than women and children.

According to the source, the criteria for the truce currently being discussed differ from those that ended yesterday, Friday.

Only civilian women and children held in captivity in Gaza were to be freed, under the agreement sponsored by Qatar, Egypt, and the US. However. Israel later wanted female soldiers to be released, which Hamas refused, so Tel Aviv broke the truce by launching deadly strikes across the strip.

One of the reasons for Israel to call back its negotiators was that it said Hamas included, in a list of 10 people to be released, a number of captives who had died, Al Jazeera’s Sara Khairat reporter said.

“Israel wanted that the 10 to be released for an extra day of ceasefire to be alive rather than dead. They want that to be a separate thing,” Khairat said, reporting from Tel Aviv.

The initial truce, which began on 24 November and lasted for an entire week, led to Hamas releasing captured Israeli women and children in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and children.

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