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CIA, Mossad chiefs meet in Qatar as Israel-Hamas truce extended | Israeli-Palestinian conflict News

Talks between US and Israeli intelligence agencies in Qatar, which plays a key mediating role, include the issue of captives held in Gaza.

The heads of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israel’s Mossad met in Qatar to discuss the extension of the truce between Israel and Hamas as well as prisoners held by the Palestinian group in Gaza.

CIA Director William Burns and Mossad intelligence chief David Barnea spoke with Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani on Tuesday, a day after Doha announced an extension two days from an initial four-day humanitarian break. in Gaza, which was due to expire.

“You have to read a little between the lines here: [The intelligence chiefs were] “It was important at the last meeting, which took place on November 9. We believe that was one of the stepping stones that allowed us to reach the initial four-day agreement,” said James Bays , diplomatic editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera.

“The fact that we have intelligence chiefs sitting here with the Qatari prime minister, who is also foreign minister, is interesting because they have a good handle on intelligence. But I also think it’s interesting in part because of who the United States is leading this effort,” he said, adding that Burns is “a more experienced negotiator than Antony Blinken,” the Secretary of State. American state.

Israel and Hamas accuse each other of violating the initial truce. But they continued to exchange captives for prisoners. Hamas released the prisoners it was holding, and 12 more were freed on Tuesday.

Majed al-Ansari, a spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, said in a message on X that 30 Palestinian prisoners should be released.

On Monday, mediator Qatar said the humanitarian pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas would be extended by two days, hours before the original four-day truce in Gaza expired.

Qatar, the United States and Egypt engaged in intense negotiations to establish and extend the truce in Gaza.

During the initial break, Hamas released 69 prisoners – 51 Israelis and 18 people of other nationalities.

In exchange, 150 Palestinian prisoners – 117 children and 33 women – held in Israeli prisons were released and more humanitarian aid was allowed into Gaza.

The talks between the heads of the US and Israeli intelligence services and Qatar were also attended by Egyptian officials.

“Is there a way for them to try to solve the central problem of maintaining this [current truce] while Israel wants to eliminate Hamas at the same time? » asked Bays.

“We know nothing about the information available on the ground, but some suggest that a deal could be reached to persuade Hamas’s military leadership to go into exile in another country,” he said.

“This is certainly not what we hear in the Israeli media; the last time we heard from them was that the Israeli government does not want an extension beyond 10 days in total, which would take us until the end of Sunday,” according to Bays.

Meanwhile, Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow soldiers to resume fighting in Gaza to “crush Hamas” as it responded to an army statement that three explosive devices had detonated in two locations. near troops in northern Gaza.

“We must not wait until our fighters are killed. We must once again act in accordance with the objective of the war: the total destruction of Hamas,” the minister posted on X.

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