Israel says negotiators to hold new Gaza truce talks next week

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
4 min read

A top Hamas official told AFP Friday the group expects a swift Israeli response -- “likely today or tomorrow morning” -- to its new “ideas” for halting the Gaza war and freeing hostages.

However, Israel said later on Friday that “gaps” remained with Hamas on how to secure a Gaza ceasefire and hostage release deal but that it will send a delegation for fresh talks with Qatari mediators next week.

The statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman came after a delegation led by the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, David Barnea, held a first round of talks with mediators in Doha on Friday.

“It was agreed that next week Israeli negotiators will travel to Doha to continue the talks. There are still gaps between the parties,” the spokesman said in a statement.

For the latest updates on the Israel-Palestine conflict, visit our dedicated page.

Hamdan said there were no new concrete proposals in a document sent to Israel this week but “some ideas were proposed to overcome” Israeli reticence about a ceasefire.

“We are waiting to hear a response, likely today or tomorrow morning,” he had said.

“If the response is positive, then we will discuss these ideas in detail because we will enter into the implementation discussion of these ideas, which... will not take long.”

Because of the devastation of the war, both sides face mounting international and domestic pressure to halt the conflict that started with the Hamas attacks in Israel on October 7.

The attack resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures. Hamas also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza, including 42 the army says are dead.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 38,011 people, also mostly civilians, according to the territory’s health ministry.

“The goal of negotiations is to cease the aggression, withdraw forces and allow the Palestinian people to rebuild Gaza, including shelter, relief and other details,” Hamdan said.

“Ultimately, a fair and suitable prisoner exchange deal must be completed.”

Netanyahu has said there can be no halt to hostilities until all hostages are freed. He has also insisted that Israel will not stop its campaign to destroy Hamas’s military and governance capabilities.

‘Ball in Israel’s court’

US President Joe Biden announced a pathway to a truce deal in May which he said had been proposed by Israel. This included a six-week truce to allow for talks, the release of hostages and eventually a program to rebuild devastated Gaza.

Hamdan blamed Israel for the deadlock since Biden’s announcement.

“The Israeli side has made every effort to complicate matters and obstruct progress.”

The Hamas leadership is “not talking about a new proposal nor something new,” the official said. Talks would be on the existing proposals.

“There are some ideas that have pushed things forward, and that is what has been discussed.”

He said the ideas had been “conveyed by the mediators to the American side, which welcomed them and passed them on to the Israeli side. Now the ball is in the Israeli court.”

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

He said the Doha talks “will be a test for the US administration to see if it is willing to pressure the Zionist entity to accept these proposed ideas.”

The official said that if the talks fail, Hamas is ready to keep fighting. “I can say that, by the grace of God, the capabilities of the resistance remain in a good condition that allows it to continue.”

Read more:

Hamas says it rejects any statements about foreign forces entering Gaza

Hezbollah fires over 200 rockets at Israeli military in retaliation for top commander

Gaza ceasefire hopes rise as Israel says it will resume stalled negotiations

Top Content Trending