Doha says Egyptian, Israeli and US intelligence officials are working to secure a truce in Gaza and the release of captives.
Qatar’s prime minister said “good progress” was made at a meeting between Egyptian, Israeli and US intelligence officials over the weekend to discuss a possible deal to secure a truce in the war between Israel and Hamas and the release of prisoners held by Qatar. Palestinian groups in Gaza.
The intelligence chiefs of the three countries, who have been negotiating deals to suspend fighting since the war began on October 7, met over the weekend in Paris, the French capital.
The parties discussed a potential deal that would include a gradual truce that would first see the release of women and children and the entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin confirmed on Monday Jassim al Thani.
“We hope to convey this proposal to Hamas and bring it to a point where it will engage positively and constructively in the process,” the prime minister said at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. , in the USA.
Qatar’s prime minister also said Hamas had demanded a permanent ceasefire as a precondition for opening negotiations.
“I believe we have moved from this place to a place that could potentially lead to a permanent ceasefire in the future,” he said.
Al Thani said the talks are taking place “in a much better situation than a few weeks ago.”
Around 240 people were taken hostage by Hamas on October 7 after the group’s fighters launched a surprise attack from Gaza on southern Israel, killing at least 1,139 people, according to Israeli figures.
Israel responded with a devastating bombing and ground invasion of Gaza, killing more than 26,600 people, according to Palestinian health officials.
Qatar and the United States held negotiations on a week-long truce in late November, which saw more than 100 captives freed by Palestinian groups in Gaza and more than 200 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons released in exchange.
Since then, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under increasing pressure on several fronts, as families of captives call for a deal to secure the return of their loved ones, while members of his far-right ruling coalition push to an escalation of tensions. war, and as a key ally, the United States has criticized Israel for civilian death toll in Gaza.
Last week, Netanyahu rejected Hamas proposal to end war and release the captives in exchange for the withdrawal of Israeli forces, the release of prisoners and the acceptance of governance of Gaza by the armed group.
The Israeli prime minister said accepting Hamas’ terms would mean leaving the armed group “intact” and that Israeli soldiers had “fallen in vain.” He has often said that only a maximum pressure campaign could prompt the group to release all captives.
The Qatari prime minister stressed that his country is not “a superpower capable of imposing something on a party”, in response to Netanyahu’s earlier claims that Qatar had failed to use its influence to pressure on Hamas.
Doha is home to the Hamas political office and is the main residence of senior politician Ismail Haniyeh.
“We use our good offices to make connections, bridge gaps and offer alternatives. And this method worked,” he said, referring to previous mediations facilitated by Qatar.