Israeli Negotiators Head to Qatar for Cease-Fire Talks, Officials Say

Israeli Delegation Travels to Qatar for Peace Negotiations, Confirm Officials

Israeli officials are on their way to Qatar for a new series of face-to-face discussions. These talks aim to secure a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and negotiate the release of hostages held by Palestinian militants. This information comes from a high-ranking Israeli official and another source familiar with the negotiations.

The journey of the Israeli team to Doha, Qatar, follows unsuccessful attempts to reach an agreement with Hamas before the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, which began last week.

The team from Israel includes the leader of Mossad, the country’s foreign intelligence agency; the head of Shin Bet, the internal security service; and a representative from the Israeli Army. This was shared by the Israeli official. Both sources chose to remain anonymous as they were not cleared to speak to the media.

The negotiations between Israel and Hamas are happening indirectly, with Qatari and Egyptian mediators facilitating the discussions. On Thursday, Hamas put forward a new proposal. This proposal dropped a previous condition that Israel must agree to a permanent cease-fire immediately. This would start the process of exchanging hostages and Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, as per individuals close to the negotiations.

For a long time, Hamas leaders have been openly demanding a comprehensive cease-fire and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. Israeli authorities have consistently dismissed these demands, suggesting they might consider only a temporary halt.

The ongoing inability of Israel and Hamas to finalize a deal has led to increased frustration among Palestinians facing displacement and hunger. Additionally, the families of hostages are deeply concerned about the well-being of their loved ones, who have been in captivity for months.