Israeli president meets in secret with Qatari prime minister to discuss hostage negotiations

by | Feb 16, 2024

Two sources with knowledge of the meeting told Axios that Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani met in secret on Friday while attending the Munich Security Conference to discuss the negotiations to secure the release of Gaza's hostages.

Since the Hamas attack on October 7, Mossad director David Barnea has been in charge of the majority of communications between Qatar and Israel. According to a source with knowledge, Herzog traveled to Munich with some of the hostages released under the previous agreement and the families of those still detained in Gaza.

The meeting on Friday follows a meeting in Cairo between Egyptian and Israeli spy chiefs and Qatari Prime Minister Bill Burns to discuss the most recent hostage negotiation proposal.

Burns visited Israel on Thursday to discuss the ongoing negotiations, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to send an Israeli delegation for follow-up talks.

The biggest sticking point is Hamas’ insistence that any agreement must include the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners.

Axios was informed by an Israeli official that there is a sense of progress being made and that Hamas may be open to adjusting its stances in order to allow for more in-depth discussions of negotiated terms.

Source: Axios

 

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