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Israel war cabinet approves new guidelines for hostage talks with Hamas


Tel Aviv, May 23 (IANS) Israel War cabinet has approved new guidelines regarding the hostage-ceasefire “indirect” talks with Hamas.

Sources said that the war cabinet has communicated to the negotiating team including Mossad Chief David Barnea and Shin Bet Director, Ronen Bar to continue negotiations for the return of the hostages.The war cabinet had met urgently after the families of the hostages released footage of the abduction of five female soldiers from Nahal Oz base by Hamas on October 7.At least 128 hostages are still in Hamas custody. Egypt, which is a key negotiator in the “indirect” truce talks between Hamas and Israel, has threatened to withdraw from mediation after it was reported that Egypt mishandled the last round of hostage talks which led to the collapse of the negotiations.“Attempts to cast doubt and offend Egypt’s mediation efforts will only lead to further complications of the situation in Gaza and the entire region and may push Egypt to completely withdraw from its mediation in the current conflict,” Diaa Rashwan, Head of Egypt’s State Information Service said. It was reported that Cairo had presented two separate proposals to Hamas and Israel. While the one presented to Israel was closer to its demands, another presented to Hamas supported its requirements.These proposals, according to media reports, had infuriated the CIA Director, William Burns who was one of the main coordinators in the negotiation talks.–IANSaal/dan

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