War in Gaza: A breakthrough in the US hostage situation?
CIA Director Bill Burns will travel to Europe to meet with the representatives of intermediary countries between Israel and Hamas. The purpose of the talks is to resolve the hostage crisis in Gaza.
It has been almost four months since the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel (October 7). According to the Israeli government, 1,200 people were killed in this offensive, and more than 200 were kidnapped. Six US citizens were to be among the hostages. In response, Israel attacked Gaza with a full-scale invasion. According to estimates by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, a total of 30,034 people, including 27,681 civilians, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war. Among the victims were to be about 11,500 children.
Who will attend?
Burns is scheduled to meet with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, David Barnea, head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel. Hostage talks have been going on for months. This will be the fourth round of talks on the issue. The CIA director's schedule for the tour remains unknown. So far, the talks have occurred twice in Doha and once in Warsaw.
What are Hamas' conditions?
First, the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and the cessation of hostilities were part of Hamas' conditions. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not agree to this. - In exchange for the release of our hostages, Hamas demands the end of the war, the withdrawal of our forces from Gaza, the release of all the murderers and rapists (...) I reject outright the terms of surrender of the monsters of Hamas - said the Israeli prime minister in his statement.
However, experts point out that the prolonged crisis is hitting Netnajahu and his political authority because of pressure from the hostages' families. On the other hand, Israel's continued military presence in Gaza could spell the end for Hamas. Some of the experts believe that the conflict in Gaza serves to dismiss corruption charges against the Israeli prime minister.
Source: CBS News