Israel Sending Negotiator to Qatar in Hope of Fresh Hostage Deal

A new push to broker a ceasefire in Gaza was underway on Friday, raising fresh hopes for the estimated 120 hostages still held and an end to the nine-month war.

In the first sign of significant movement for more than a month, Israel sent its chief negotiator David Barnea, the director of the spy agency Mossad, to meet negotiators in Qatar, while a delegation from Hamas met Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut.

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The burst of diplomacy came as unnamed sources in the US and the Gulf briefed that Hamas had softened its position by showing greater flexibility over the staging of the proposed three-stage hostage release and ceasefire deal.

“We’ve had a breakthrough,” a senior US official told Reuters, adding that the Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to re-engage in the negotiation process.


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