Video: A helicopter with the abductees released from Hamas captivity landed at Ichilov Hospital/Photo: Yotam Ronen
During talks between Mossad chief Dadi Barnea and the Qatari prime minister, the CIA director and the head of Egyptian intelligence, they made it clear that Israel would not agree to any discussion of a continuation deal until all the women and children held hostage in Gaza were released, said a senior Israeli official familiar with the details of the talks on Tuesday.
Based on an analysis of the publicly published lists of abductees, Hamas has 30 to 40 additional women and children, including about 20 women between the ages of 20 and 50. Israel expects them to be released in the coming days as part of extending the lull in the fighting.
"It is possible to reach agreements of one kind or another on additional groups of abductees, but Israel has made it clear that this will happen only after the current framework is fully exhausted and all the women and children are released," the Israeli official said.
Previously, Walla learned, the two sides discussed maximizing the current outline of the ceasefire – that is, extending the truce to a total of nine days, in exchange for the release of up to 50 additional hostages, Walla has learned.
A political source said that Israel was prepared to exhaust the framework and extend the lull in the fighting by a total of three more days, if Hamas undertook to release 10 more abductees every day. The sides also discussed in Doha ideas for formulating a new framework in which all other abductees held by Hamas – including the soldiers – would be released.
Dadi Barnea/Flash 90, Avshalom Shoshoni
The meeting was attended today by Mossad chief Barnea, CIA director Bill Burns, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdel Rahman al-Thani and, according to a source familiar with the details, Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel. This is the Mossad chief's third visit to Doha since the beginning of the war in Gaza. The visit comes a day after Israel and Hamas reached a Qatari and Egyptian-brokered agreement to extend the ceasefire in Gaza by two days in exchange for the release of 20 more hostages.
In recent weeks, CIA Director Bill Burns has played a critical role in efforts to reach a deal to release hostages, along with Mossad chief Barnea and the Qatari prime minister. Burns also helped resolve several major crises during the period, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.
Israeli officials said that over the past few days, when the agreement to release the hostages was implemented, Burns and his staff had been in constant contact with the joint Israeli-Qatari operations room at Mossad headquarters near Tel Aviv.
- More on the subject:
- David Barnea
- Iron Sword War