Qatar, Israel truce talks positive but deal not imminent

Qatar, Israel truce talks positive but deal not imminent
A meeting between Qatar, Israel and the US to renegotiate the truce that allowed for a mutual exchange of hostages and prisoners between Israel and Hamas.
2 min read
19 December, 2023
Qatar's PM is playing a leading role in attempting to secure another truce in Gaza [Getty]

A meeting between Qatar’s prime minister and the heads of Israel’s Mossad spy agency and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Warsaw on Monday about hostages held by Hamas was positive but there is no expectation of an imminent deal, according to a source briefed on the diplomatic efforts.

The leaders met in Poland’s capital to discuss a potential new deal to secure the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for a potential release of Palestinians in Israeli prisons and a humanitarian pause in the fighting.

"The talks were positive with negotiators exploring and discussing different proposals in an attempt to progress on negotiations," the source said. "An agreement is not expected imminently however."

The office of Israel's prime minister declined to comment.

Live Story

There was no immediate comment from the CIA.

The talks between Qatar's Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who also serves as the Gulf state's foreign minister, Mossad Director David Barnea and CIA Director Bill Burns followed a meeting between the three in Europe last week.

Qatar has said that it is working to repair a humanitarian ceasefire agreement that ended last month and pushing for a comprehensive end to the more than two-month war.

Qatar and Egypt were mediators between Israel and Hamas in a deal that led to a week-long truce at the end of November during which Hamas released more than 100 women, children and foreigners it was holding in exchange for 240 Palestinian women and teenagers freed from Israeli jails.