Voz media US Voz.us

Israeli delegation is "optimistic" after first round of truce talks in Qatar

A delegation led by Mossad Director David Barnea returned to Israel Friday with optimistic news about the talks with mediators between Jerusalem and Hamas.

Manifestación para exigir la liberación de los rehenes.

Published by

Negotiations between Israel, Hamas and mediators continue with the hope of reaching a truce agreement in Gaza. This would involve the release of hostages. This Friday, a delegation led by Mossad head David Barnea held meetings with the other parties in Qatar before returning to Israel later in the day.

Upon returning to Israel, the delegation briefed the government on its progress in Doha. Shortly after David Barnea's return, it was reported that Benjamin Netanyahu's government approved continuing negotiations and will send a new delegation to Qatar next week. The delegation added that there are still "differences between the parties.”

According to Israeli media reports, while in Qatar, the Mossad chief defended in his government's position and rejected the demands of the Hamas terrorist group. The Palestinian Islamist militia is asking Israel to put in writing its commitment to the negotiations so that the second phase of the ceasefire can continue indefinitely. Instead, Israel proposed maintaining the initial six-week first-phase truce condition, which will also be the deadline for negotiating the second phase.

According to the Times of Israel, clauses 8 and 14 of the Israeli proposal stipulate that such negotiations can be extended beyond six weeks if the parties continue to engage in the truce. If this happens, the Egyptian, Qatari and U.S. mediators "will do everything possible to ensure" that Israel and Hamas remain at the table.

In the text updated by Hamas, the terrorist group removed the phrase "will do everything possible" from clause 14. The updated phrase would have apparently more binding wording. This would make the extension of the second phase negotiations mandatory. Israel fears that Hamas will take advantage of what was agreed to between the mediators and extend the first phase negotiations instead of releasing the remaining live hostages.