Mossad chief and Qatari PM hold initial meeting about hostage deal

The meeting was the first between Israeli and Qatari officials since the breakdown of the ceasefire in late November.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Mossad chief David Barnea and  Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani had the first of several meetings over the weekend concerning a potential deal that could lead to the release of more hostages.

Following the killing of 3 hostages in Gaza after the IDF falsely identified them as terrorists, the Mossad engaged in talks with the Qatari PM, as reported by CNN, and the outcome of the talks was described as “positive.”

The talks occurred after a similar meeting involving Barnea’s trip to Doha was canceled by the Israeli government last week.

However, Friday’s tragedy involving the accidental killing of Israeli hostages by the IDF added urgency to demands for additional hostage releases.

Currently, over 100 hostages are remaining in Gaza after the release of 110 captives last month during a week-long ceasefire.

Israel’s defense chiefs have acknowledged their responsibility in the accidental killing of three hostages during an escape attempt in Gaza, but added that the IDF was operating under “impossible” circumstances, where Hamas terrorists were cynically ambushing soldiers with recordings of babies crying, of people speaking Hebrew, and of shirtless terrorists with IEDs under their pants.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, alongside Gallant, emphasized the critical nature of the ongoing war with Hamas. “We are fighting for our existence, and we have to continue until victory,” Netanyahu declared, despite the tragic loss and mounting international pressure.

The incident has sparked a wave of demonstrations calling for a ceasefire and the safe return of hostages.

On Saturday night, hundreds took to the streets to demand the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza.

Amit Ashkenazi, sister of presumed hostage Doron Steinbrecher, said at the demonstration, “The war’s objective is to bring them back alive but three hostages, two from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, are returning in coffins,” and she demanded, “a deal right now.”