WASHINGTON – CIA Director Bill Burns will meet with Israeli Mossad Director David Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Europe this weekend. negotiations to secure his release Hostages are being held in Gaza.
A diplomat with knowledge of the matter first confirmed the upcoming meeting to NBC News informed By The Washington Post. Further details about the location of the meeting were not available.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, when asked by reporters about Burns’ activities, referred to the CIA and noted that the director was trying to negotiate another hostage deal. Kirby also said that Brett McGurk, the White House’s Middle East and North Africa coordinator, is currently in the region to spur some action on the issue.
More than 130 people are believed to be held captive in Gaza, most likely hidden in underground tunnels or held in private homes.
Israeli officials have said in recent days that Hamas is demanding a permanent cessation of hostilities, the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and the release of a large number of Palestinian prisoners, including some who carried out the October 7 attack on Israel. The terrorist group announced these conditions in a statement issued on Thursday.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was rejected Hamas demands last weekend.
Speaking to Israeli soldiers at a military base near Gaza on Thursday, Netanyahu said, according to the Israeli government, “Total victory means destroying Hamas and returning all our hostages – we will not give up on that goal.”
Earlier this month, Israel and Hamas concluded a contract This allowed humanitarian aid and medicine to be delivered to civilians in Gaza in exchange for medication for hostages still held captive.
On October 7, Hamas killed about 1,200 people and kidnapped about 240 people and took them to Gaza during the attack. More than 1.7 million people have been displaced in Gaza.
In November, more than 100 hostages were released from Gaza in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinian prisoners by Israel. But in early December the ceasefire is overIsrael and the US said that Hamas violated the terms of the agreement and sent rockets to Israel.