The CIA director meets with the head of Israeli intelligence and the prime minister of Qatar to try to achieve a hostage breakout

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WASHINGTON – CIA Director Bill Burns will meet with Israeli Mossad Director David Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani this weekend in Europe to try to strengthen relations. Negotiation To secure the release Hostages held in Gaza.

A diplomat familiar with the matter first confirmed the upcoming meeting to NBC News mentioned By The Washington Post. Other details about the location of the meeting were not clear.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby referred reporters to the CIA when asked about Burns’ activities, indicating that the director was involved in trying to reach another hostage deal. Kirby also said that Brett McGurk, the White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, is currently in the region to try to spur some movement on the matter.

More than 130 people are believed to remain captive in Gaza, likely hiding underground in tunnels or detained in private homes.

Israeli officials have said in recent days that Hamas is demanding a permanent cessation of fighting, a 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 clarified these terms in a statement on Thursday.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. unacceptable Hamas demands last weekend.

Speaking to Israeli soldiers at a military base near Gaza on Thursday, Netanyahu said: “Total victory means eliminating Hamas and returning all our hostages — we will not give up on this goal,” according to the Israeli government.

This month, Israel and Hamas Make a deal Which allowed the delivery of humanitarian aid and medicine to civilians in Gaza in exchange for providing medicine to the hostages still being held.

During the attack launched by Hamas on October 7, Hamas killed about 1,200 people and kidnapped about 240 people and took them to Gaza. More than 1.7 million people have been displaced in Gaza.

As part of the truce reached in November, more than 100 hostages were released from Gaza in exchange for Israel releasing 240 Palestinian prisoners. But in early December, StopThe fire is overIsrael and the United States said Hamas violated the terms of the agreement and fired rockets at Israel.

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