The CIA and Mossad chiefs met with the Qatari prime minister in Doha on Thursday to discuss the parameters of a deal for hostage releases and a pause in Hamas-Israel fighting in the Gaza Strip, a source briefed on the meeting told Reuters. The outcome of the talks was unclear. Qatar, where several Hamas political leaders are based, has been leading efforts to mediate between Hamas and Israeli officials for the release of hostages taken by Hamas militants when they rampaged into Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 people.
Israel then launched an unrelenting bombardment of Hamas-ruled Gaza and late last month launched an armored invasion of the enclave, where over 10,000 people have now been killed, 40 percent of them children, according to Palestinian officials. David Barnea, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, CIA Director William Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani held the meeting after Qatari mediators met officials from the Hamas political office on Wednesday night and discussed potential parameters of a deal. The advantage of the trilateral meeting was to bring all three parties together at one table in real time to speed up the process, the source said. The talks also included a discussion about allowing humanitarian imports of fuel into Gaza, so far refused by Israel lest, it says, it is diverted to Hamas for fighting purposes.
A source told Reuters on Wednesday the talks touched on a release of 10-15 hostages in exchange for a one- to two-day humanitarian pause in the war that is devastating Gaza.