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Thursday, April 18, 2024

US announces ‘agreement’ achieved in Gaza hostage discussions, yet talks persist


WASHINGTON — Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Advisor, revealed to⁢ CNN on Sunday that ​negotiators have reached a preliminary “understanding” regarding the broad framework of a potential deal. This deal would involve the release of hostages held by Hamas in exchange for a​ temporary ceasefire⁤ in Gaza.

On Friday, an Israeli delegation, which included ⁤Mossad‍ director David Barnea, participated in discussions with⁢ CIA director Bill Burns and negotiators from Egypt and Qatar in Paris. Egypt and Qatar act as go-betweens for Hamas ⁤and Israel, as the two parties do not engage‌ in direct talks.

On Sunday evening, Hamas was updated on the​ progress of the Paris talks. However, a final deal is not imminent and could still be days away as negotiators work on finalizing the specifics.

“The representatives from Israel, ⁤the United States, ⁣Egypt, and Qatar convened in Paris and reached a mutual understanding about the basic framework of a hostage deal for a temporary ceasefire. I won’t delve into the specifics as the details are still being negotiated,” Sullivan informed CNN’s Dana Bash on ‘State of ‍the Union.’

He further added, “Indirect discussions will have to be facilitated by Qatar and Egypt with Hamas, as they will ultimately need to agree to release‌ the hostages. This process is currently underway. We hope that in the coming days, we ⁣can reach a point where a concrete and final agreement on this⁤ issue is achieved. However, we will have to wait and⁢ see.”

When questioned by Bash about his optimism regarding a potential deal, Sullivan refrained from commenting: ⁣”There’s been a lot of back-and-forth. So, I won’t ‌make predictions or assign percentage chances to it.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to CBS’s Face ⁣the Nation on Sunday, emphasized Israel’s ‍desire to free the remaining hostages in Gaza, ‍stating “we are all working on it. We want⁣ it. I want it.” He blamed Hamas’ “unreasonable” demands for delaying the deal.

U.S. Expresses ‘Concerns’ Over Postwar Gaza Plan

Negotiators are set to resume ⁤discussions​ on Monday in Doha, as per a diplomat and sources familiar with the talks.⁣ These discussions will involve⁢ working-level‍ officials focusing on resolving technical issues.

The discussions will include representatives from the parties involved in‌ the Paris talks: Qatar, Egypt, the U.S., and Israel. From the U.S. ⁣side,⁢ these will include officials from the⁤ CIA.

Despite the ongoing​ conflict in Gaza, there are positive indications emerging from the talks. Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of National Security for Israel, expressed⁤ to⁣ Israeli media⁤ on Saturday his belief that progress is⁢ possible.

However,⁢ a Hamas leader, Dr. Bassem Naim,⁣ informed CNN on Sunday that he is “not aware” of any advancements in the negotiations between Israel and Hamas.

Regarding Netanyahu’s ⁢recently unveiled plan ⁤for a post-war Gaza, Sullivan expressed “some concerns” based on media reports⁤ but is expecting a briefing from his‌ Israeli counterparts later on Sunday.

“From what I’ve seen in the media, I have some concerns,” he told CNN.

In a subsequent interview on Fox News Sunday, Sullivan⁣ added: “I’m scheduled ​to speak with my Israeli counterparts later today to learn ⁢more because they’ve made public statements without consulting us to discuss ⁤all of this. So, I’ll wait and see.”

The Israeli leader has consistently stated that the war in Gaza will persist until Israel dismantles Hamas’ leadership and rescues the hostages.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Sunday that Israeli hostage Oz Daniel, 19, has been confirmed dead. Daniel was previously believed to be ⁤alive among the hostages, so his death increases the number of dead hostages taken on October 7 to 30, out of 130.

In November of the previous year, Israel and ⁣Hamas reached a landmark‍ deal that secured​ the release of 105 hostages ​held by ‌Hamas.⁤ The deal ‌also included a four-day ‌ceasefire, which was​ subsequently ​extended.

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  1. Disagree with this announcement. Hostage negotiations are complex and ongoing, an agreement doesn’t mean the situation is resolved.


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