Home » Widening Mideast Crisis: Families of Israeli Hostages Protest at Border Crossing to Block Aid to Gaza

Widening Mideast Crisis: Families of Israeli Hostages Protest at Border Crossing to Block Aid to Gaza

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The director of the C.I.A. is ready to make a renewed push for negotiations over the discharge of hostages held in Gaza and an prolonged cease-fire, in response to U.S. officers, who stated he would meet with senior Israeli, Egyptian and Qatari officers in Europe.

The officers hope to shut a large hole between Israel and Hamas, particularly on two points: the size of any pause in preventing and the destiny of Hamas leaders in Gaza, in response to officers briefed on the talks.

Here’s a take a look at the place the talks stand.

How are the negotiations going?

A weeklong truce in November allowed the discharge of greater than 100 of the hostages kidnapped in Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault on Israel; 240 Palestinian prisoners had been launched as a part of that deal. Since then, each side have staked out seemingly intractable positions for an additional such settlement.

The talks have superior in matches and begins, with the chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence company assembly with Qatari officers in each Qatar and Europe. Lots of Hamas’s political leaders are based mostly in Qatar. Egypt, which borders the Gaza Strip, has additionally performed a key position.

William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, goes to fulfill with senior Israeli, Egyptian and Qatari officers, in response to U.S. officers. They stated Israel’s obvious willingness to comply with an extended cessation of hostilities as a part of any additional hostage releases has created a brand new opening for negotiations.

Any new deal would seemingly embody phased releases of hostages, although the White Home is hoping {that a} greater deal, resulting in the discharge of the remaining hostages, is likely to be potential. The officers spoke on situation of anonymity to debate the delicate diplomacy.

In current weeks, the mediators have put ahead a number of plans, although with little evident progress. Durations for a proposed cease-fire have ranged from weeks to months. Leaks of a few of the proposals to the press have prompted controversy in Israel, the place right-wing politicians stated they’d oppose plans they stated would finish the struggle prematurely.

Brett McGurk, the highest Center East coordinator on the White Home, headed again to the area on Sunday to work on liberating hostages, in response to two American officers who spoke on the situation of anonymity.

What phrases are being floated for a brand new cease-fire?

Hamas officers say they are going to solely launch the remaining hostages in Gaza, believed to quantity greater than 100, as a part of a complete cease-fire. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, stated on Sunday that he wouldn’t settle for any deal for a everlasting cease-fire that left Hamas accountable for Gaza.

Underneath one current framework for a deal, mediators proposed a phased launch of the remaining hostages and Palestinian prisoners, with the aim of attaining a steady cease-fire, a senior Western diplomat and a regional diplomat stated.

What are the sticking factors?

The largest stumbling block is whether or not a cease-fire could be designated as momentary, just like the final one, or everlasting.

Israeli officers have recommended they may think about a everlasting cease-fire if Hamas’s Gaza management depart the strip and go into exile, the 2 diplomats stated.

Hamas officers have rejected that concept. “Hamas and its leaders are on their land in Gaza,” Husam Badran, a senior Hamas official, stated in a textual content message. “We received’t depart.”

One other potential obstacle to this plan: Mr. Netanyahu stated in November that he had instructed Mossad “to behave towards the heads of Hamas wherever they’re,” seemingly elevating fears inside Hamas about whether or not the leaders could be much less secure outdoors Gaza.

What occurs after the struggle ends?

One other negotiating observe includes the way forward for Gaza after the weapons fall silent.

Biden administration officers have stated they hope the Palestinian Authority, which administers components of the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, will return to manage Gaza. U.S. officers wish to see each areas included in a future Palestinian state.

Hamas seized management of Gaza in 2007, expelling the rival Fatah social gathering, which dominates the Palestinian Authority. If Hamas stays in Gaza after the struggle, it might seemingly show a formidable impediment.

Mr. Netanyahu has largely dominated out the return of the Palestinian Authority, in its current kind, to ruling Gaza. He has additionally indicated that he would oppose the institution of an impartial Palestinian state after the struggle.

Complicating issues additional, the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, faces extreme inside challenges. Polls often present that almost all Palestinians need Mr. Abbas to resign. He was final elected to a four-year time period in 2005, and critics accuse him of presiding over an more and more autocratic authorities that has failed to finish Israeli rule.

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