Mossad, CIA chiefs meet Qatari PM in Doha over Gaza hostage deal

CIA Director William Burns testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “global threats” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert/File photo Get license rights

DOHA, Nov 9 (Reuters) – CIA and Mossad chiefs met Qatar’s prime minister on Thursday in Doha to discuss the parameters of a deal to release hostages and end the Hamas-Israeli fighting in the Gaza Strip. The crowd told Reuters.

The outcome of the negotiations is unclear.

Qatar, which is home to many Hamas political leaders, has been involved in efforts to mediate between Hamas and Israeli officials, freeing hostages taken when Hamas militants entered Israel on October 7 and killed 1,400 people.

Israel has since launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas-ruled Gaza and launched an armored offensive on the enclave late last month, where more than 10,000 people have been killed, 40% of them children, according to Palestinian officials.

David Barnia, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, CIA director William Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani held the meeting after meeting with Hamas political office officials on Wednesday night to discuss possible parameters of the deal.

The advantage of a tripartite meeting is that it brings all three parties together at the same table at the same time to speed up the process.

The talks also included discussion of allowing humanitarian fuel imports into Gaza, which Israel has so far refused.

A source told Reuters on Wednesday that talks had touched on the release of 10-15 hostages in exchange for a one- to two-day humanitarian pause in the war ravaging Gaza.

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Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani arrived in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi later Thursday, where he met with Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, according to a statement from the Emiri Diwan.

Sheikh Tamim, Prime Minister of Qatar was present.

The purpose of the visit was to discuss the situation in Gaza, the statement said. Unlike Qatar, the UAE has had diplomatic ties with Israel since a US-brokered normalization deal in 2020.

Report by Andrew Mills; Written by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Toby Chopra and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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