December 8, 2023

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Hostages held by Hamas: “significant progress” in Qatar-led negotiations, but issues remain

Hostages held by Hamas: “significant progress” in Qatar-led negotiations, but issues remain


Diplomatic sources familiar with the negotiations told CNN that “significant progress” had been made in negotiations to release hostages held by Hamas, but issues remained.

“The negotiations are going very well. We have achieved a breakthrough,” the source said.

The source added: “There are still outstanding issues, but the talks are continuing, and we are still optimistic.”

A source familiar with the meetings said that US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf is visiting Doha to hold meetings with the Qatari leadership.

Amir Levy/Getty Images

Relatives and family members of hostages kidnapped by Hamas demonstrate in Tel Aviv on October 26, calling on the Israeli government to negotiate their release.

In response to a question about the status of the negotiations, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant commented in a press conference on Thursday that “every channel is a potential channel.”

“One thing must be clear – we have a goal and I trust the State of Israel and the Israeli army… and we will continue to make every effort to return the hostages and the missing,” Gallant said.

Hamas kidnapped more than 200 people and killed 1,400 others, including soldiers and civilians, in southern Israel on October 7. The hostages include citizens of countries such as Mexico, Brazil, the United States, Germany and Thailand – as well as Israeli civilians and soldiers. This large-scale incursion represents the deadliest attack carried out by militants in Israel’s 75-year history, and the Israeli authorities have faced severe criticism for failing to anticipate it.

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In response, Israel launched heavy bombardment on the Gaza Strip and imposed a complete blockade on the Strip. Israeli raids killed at least 7,028 Palestinians, including 2,913 children, according to a report issued by the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Ministry of Health. About 1,600 people are missing under the rubble Flat buildingsIt is feared that many of them have died. The ministry said on Friday that the actual death toll in Gaza was likely much higher.

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Human Rights Watch said on Monday that Israel “collective punishment” Palestinians in Gaza amounts to a war crime.

Qatar and Egypt are mediating between Israel, the United States, and Hamas to release him Hostages controlled by the armed group. Four hostages – two Americans and two Israelis – have been released so far.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted on Wednesday that he “will have to provide answers” to his government’s intelligence failures. This is the first time he has spoken about his role in the security collapse since October 7.

CNN’s Sana Nour Haq, Hamdi Al Khashali, Jumana Karadsheh, Mustafa Salem and Leanne Coleraine contributed reporting.

This story is evolving and will be updated.