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Mossad accuses Hamas of seeking escalation amidst Ramadan negotiations

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2024-03-10T06:30:22+00:00

Shafaq News / The Israeli Mossad announced that its director, David Barnea, met with CIA Director William Burns in Amman as part of efforts to reach an agreement in Gaza, accusing Hamas of seeking escalation during the holy month of Ramadan.

In a rare statement published by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, the Mossad stated that “Hamas prefers to escalate violence during Ramadan rather than reaching a deal,” adding that David Barnea met last Friday with CIA Director William Burns in the Jordanian capital, Amman, as part of mediator efforts to reach a temporary ceasefire agreement and hostage release.

The Mossad stated: “At this stage, Hamas is fortifying its position, seemingly uninterested in a deal, and is actively seeking to inflame the region during Ramadan at the expense of Palestinian civilians in Gaza,” adding that “discussions and cooperation with mediators are ongoing to bridge the gaps and advance agreements.”

According to the Times of Israel, the statement came as American, Egyptian, and Qatari mediators seek a six-week ceasefire in the five-month-long war in Gaza ahead of Ramadan. These efforts have been ongoing for weeks based on a framework agreed upon in Paris last month.

The newspaper noted that “the Paris framework, which Hamas has rejected so far, calls for the release of 40 Israeli hostages, including children, women, the elderly, and the sick in the first stage lasting six weeks, in exchange for about 400 Palestinian security prisoners, with the possibility of negotiating other prisoner releases.”

Israel insists that any ceasefire must be temporary and its goal remains the eradication of Hamas and the release of all hostages, while Hamas says it will release the hostages it has held since October 7 only as part of a deal to end the war.

The newspaper reported that “Israel did not send a delegation to the last round of ceasefire talks in Cairo after Hamas refused to provide a list of the names of living hostages, and a Hamas delegation left Thursday after expressing frustration with Israeli positions, heading to Qatar to consult with the movement’s leadership.”

Meanwhile, Channel 12 quoted a senior Israeli source close to the negotiations on Saturday as saying that Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, “believes that the more his people suffer in Gaza, the more pressure there is on Israel, and the better the conditions he will get,” adding: “In negotiations…an agreement requires two parties, and now the other party does not want an agreement,” in reference to Hamas.

Israel and Hamas have exchanged accusations of failing to reach an agreement, with mediators hoping to reach a deal by the beginning of Ramadan, but it seems unlikely.

In this context, US President Joe Biden ruled out last Friday the possibility of reaching a temporary ceasefire in Gaza by the beginning of Ramadan.

Biden told reporters in response to a question about the possibility of reaching a temporary ceasefire to end the five-month-long war by the beginning of Ramadan that “it seems difficult.”

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