The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israeli Mossad chiefs met with the Qatari prime minister in Doha on Thursday to discuss a deal for hostage releases and a pause in Hamas-Israel fighting in the Gaza Strip, according to a source briefed on the meeting. The outcome of the talks was unclear, but later, the White House announced that Israel had agreed to temporary pauses. Qatar, where several Hamas political leaders are based, has been leading mediation efforts between Hamas and Israeli officials for the release of over 240 hostages. These hostages were taken by Hamas militants during an incursion into Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 people, according to Israel. In response, Israel launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas-ruled Gaza and initiated an armored invasion, resulting in the deaths of over 10,000 people, 40% of whom were children, according to Palestinian officials. The meeting in Doha included David Barnea, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, CIA Director William Burns, and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani. The purpose of the meeting was to expedite the negotiation process by bringing all three parties together. The talks also addressed the possibility of allowing humanitarian fuel imports into Gaza, which Israel has thus far refused due to concerns that it may be diverted for military purposes by Hamas. Additionally, the discussions touched on the potential release of 10-15 hostages in exchange for a one- to two-day humanitarian pause in the conflict. Following the meeting in Doha, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani traveled to the United Arab Emirates, where he met with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. The Qatari prime minister accompanied the emir during the visit. Sheikh Mohamed expressed on social media that the two leaders had met to reinforce their calls for an immediate ceasefire, unhindered humanitarian access, and the protection of civilians. He emphasized the UAE and Qatar’s commitment to de-escalation efforts and the pursuit of a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the region.
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