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Middle East: the truce in Gaza is faltering, the CIA and Mossad are in Qatar to negotiate another extension


© Agenzia Nova - Reproduction reserved

After the two-day extension of the humanitarian truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip, diplomacy is working to further extend the ceasefire. However, according to an Israeli official, the Jewish state is not willing to extend the truce beyond Sunday (for a total duration of 10 days). The head of the Israeli intelligence agency (Mossad), David Barnea, the head of the CIA, William Burns, the Qatari prime minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, met in Doha , in Qatar, to discuss the expansion of the group of hostages to be released after the completion of the current agreement and the possibility of a “multi-day truce” between Israel and Hamas.

As work continues around the negotiating table, the process of exchanging Israeli hostages held by the Islamist group in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons also continues. At the end of the six-day truce, 20 Israeli hostages are expected to be released in exchange for 60 Palestinian prisoners. Meanwhile, Israel's Justice Ministry announced the names of 50 Palestinian prisoners up for release in the event of a further extension of the ongoing ceasefire. According to reports from the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz", the list includes Ahed Tamimi, a 22-year-old student arrested on November 6 on charges of inciting violence and supporting terrorism. About 20 of the women on the list are Israeli citizens.

However, the balance of the truce is wavering. Three explosive devices were detonated next to Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers in two different locations in the northern Gaza Strip, violating the ceasefire agreement. According to an IDF spokesperson, in one incident the armed Palestinian fighters also opened fire on the Israeli military, who responded by shooting. During the incidents several soldiers were slightly injured. "In both cases, the troops were in positions compliant with the framework of the operational pause", explained the IDF, for which it was the "first significant violation of the agreement".

For his part, speaking to the newspaper "Bild", the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that Israel has "no choice but to destroy Hamas". The leader of the conservative Likud party declared that, “if you want peace, you must destroy Hamas, if you want security, you must destroy Hamas, if you want a different future for Israelis, Arabs, Palestinians and everyone else, Hamas must be destroyed." The group that controls the Gaza Strip claims that it will "repeat the massacre" of the Israelis, "the worst against the Jewish people since the Holocaust", Netanyahu said. For this reason, the Jewish state "has no choice" but to annihilate Hamas, against which it will continue to fight after the release of the hostages taken by the Palestinian Islamist movement on 7 October.

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