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Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip? Israeli intelligence chiefs are apparently negotiating in Paris

Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip?  Israeli intelligence chiefs are apparently negotiating in Paris

A glimmer of hope for the Gaza Strip? The signs are at least increasing: Israeli intelligence chiefs are apparently negotiating a possible ceasefire in Paris – under certain conditions.

According to media reports, the heads of the two most important Israeli secret services are traveling to Paris on Friday to negotiate a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of Israeli hostages. As several Israeli media reported, the head of the foreign secret service Mossad, David Barnea, and the head of the domestic secret service Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, are flying to the French capital for the talks. At the end of January, Mossad boss Barnea had already negotiated a ceasefire for the Gaza Strip with the heads of the foreign intelligence services of the USA and Egypt as well as the head of government of the Gulf Emirate of Qatar. As was the case then, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel and CIA Director William Burns are expected in Paris, the Wall Street Journal reported.

After weeks of standstill, there are increasing signs of possible progress in the negotiations. The talks between international mediators were “constructive,” said US National Security Council Communications Director John Kirby on Thursday in Washington (local time). White House Middle East Coordinator Brett McGurk had previously held talks in Israel, including with Defense Secretary Yoav Galant. Galant said at the meeting on Thursday that Israel would “expand” the mandate of its negotiators for the hostage talks, according to the Israeli news site Ynet. “The early indications we’re getting from Brett (McGurk) are that these discussions are going well. They’re constructive,” Kirby said.

Hamas calls for a “complete ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip

According to sources from the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas, the talks in Paris were about a six-week break in fighting. In return for the release of 200 to 300 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons, 35 to 40 hostages from Hamas violence in the Gaza Strip should be released.

According to Hamas, the negotiations were about an end to “Israeli aggression,” a “return of the displaced,” and a “prisoner exchange.” The Islamists have been calling for a “complete ceasefire” and a withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip for weeks.

Israel is fundamentally open to a ceasefire

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described these demands as “bizarre” and insisted on the military “annihilation” of Hamas. However, the Israeli government has shown itself fundamentally open to a ceasefire.

During a first ceasefire at the end of November, more than 100 hostages were released from Hamas violence. In return, Israel released 240 imprisoned Palestinians from prison.

On October 7th, fighters from the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the EU and the USA, entered Israel and committed atrocities there, mainly against civilians. According to Israeli information, around 1,160 people were killed and around 250 hostages were taken to the Gaza Strip. According to Israeli information, 130 hostages are still being held in the Gaza Strip, and around 30 of them are believed to be dead.

In response to the attack, Israel has since taken massive military action in the Gaza Strip, with the declared aim of destroying Hamas. According to Hamas’ latest figures, which cannot be independently verified, more than 29,500 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since then.

Source: Stern

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