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Mossad Chief Travels To Paris Amid Reports Of New Hostage Deal

Reports by the New York Times and the Associated Press over the weekend say that US negotiators are making progress on a potential hostage deal that would see Israel suspending the war in Gaza for two months in exchange for the release of the hostages.

The deal would consist of two stages, with the female, elderly, and wounded hostages released in the first 30-day pause. At the same time, negotiations would take place for the second phase during which IDF soldiers and male hostages would be released.

CIA director Bill Burns is meeting on Sunday for talks with Mossad chief Dovid Barnea, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel.

According to Sky News Arabic, Barnea and his delegation arrived in Paris on Sunday and the meeting is scheduled for Sunday evening.

On Friday, President Joe Biden spoke about the hostage situation with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Qatari emir Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

“Both leaders affirmed that a hostage deal is central to establishing a prolonged humanitarian pause in the fighting and ensure additional life-saving humanitarian assistance reaches civilians in need throughout Gaza,” the White House said in a statement about Biden’s call with the Qatari leader. “They underscored the urgency of the situation, and welcomed the close cooperation among their teams to advance recent discussions.”

However, the White House and CIA are not hopeful that a deal will be reached quickly.

“We should not expect any imminent developments,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday.

Israeli officials are skeptical that a deal can be reached at all, with Channel 12 quoting officials as saying that Hamas has unrealistic demands of Israel halting the war entirely while allowing the terror group to continue ruling over Gaza.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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