Mossad chief returns from Doha after holding Gaza cease-fire talks

Mossad chief returns from Doha after holding Gaza cease-fire talks

David Barnea held talks with Qatari mediators on Hamas response on potential deal

By Ahmed Asmar

ANKARA (AA) - The head of Israel's intelligence agency Mossad on Friday returned home from Doha after holding talks on a potential deal cease-fire deal in the Gaza Strip, local media reported.

An source told the Times of Israel news website that David Barnea, who is the head of Israel's negotiating team on Gaza conflict, held talks with Qatari mediators regarding Hamas's latest cease-fire proposal.

Netanyahu’s office on Wednesday said Israel was evaluating Hamas response on the outline of a potential deal, and will convey its reply to the mediators.

Israel has killed more than 38,000 Palestinians since an Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border attack that claimed 1,200 lives and took around 250 as hostages. The actions have triggered a humanitarian disaster and an ongoing trial over alleged genocide at the International Court of Justice.

Egypt, Qatar, and the US have been trying for months to secure a truce and the release of 120 remaining hostages in Gaza.

Hamas says any deal must end the war and bring a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israel, however, argues it will accept only temporary pauses in the fighting and wants to end the governance capabilities of the resistance group.

US President Joe Biden announced a three-phased truce plan in May, which includes the gradual release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza and the pullback of Israeli forces. It also envisages the freeing of Palestinian prisoners and the reconstruction of Gaza.

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