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Gaza hostage talks hit roadblock, raising fears of prolonged captivity


Combined, the obstacles have stalled the negotiations, that means the discharge of the hostages will doubtless occur way more slowly than the U.S. initially anticipated.

The authentic hostage deal lasted eight days and led to the discharge of 110 hostages and 250 Palestinian prisoners. But U.S. and Israeli officers have stated that the deal broke down when Hamas refused to offer a listing of girls and kids that have been set to be launched.

Despite that setback, the Biden administration had hoped to succeed in one other settlement for the discharge of the remaining hostages and one other pause in preventing earlier than Israel started its offensive in southern Gaza. Even if the preventing resumed, Washington hoped it might assist dealer a deal earlier than Jan. 1, the officers stated.

That is trying much less and fewer doubtless. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby instructed reporters in a briefing Thursday that the administration is “not close to inking a deal” for a pause in preventing and launch of hostages.

The officers burdened that conversations are nonetheless ongoing and that the state of affairs might enhance within the coming days, particularly if Hamas agrees to launch the feminine hostages.

Officials from the U.S. intelligence neighborhood, the White House and the State Department have spent the previous week pushing for a brand new take care of leaders in Qatar, Egypt and Israel with out making a lot headway.

CIA Director Bill Burns had traveled to Doha to satisfy with intelligence officers from Israel and Egypt in addition to the Qatari prime minister. Secretary of State Antony Blinken additionally spoke with the prime minister.

The refusal to offer the record of girls and kids was the primary roadblock, one of the officers stated, resulting in a breakdown in communications with Hamas.

Renewed preventing in southern Gaza and accusations by the U.S. and Israel that Hamas leaders are abusing the feminine hostages sexually are additional straining talks, the officers stated.

“It is a sick truth of this particular group that they use sexual violence as a weapon and a tool,” Kirby stated in one other briefing Wednesday. “Sadly, I think it’s safe to assume that they’re still using sexual violence as a weapon, but I can’t speak to specific cases.”

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller instructed reporters Monday that Hamas doesn’t “want these women to be able to talk about what happened to them during their time in custody.”

The IDF seems to be distancing itself from such statements. “Following some comments aired in the last day on the topic of the hostages in Gaza, the discourse on the topic is irresponsible, inaccurate and it should be avoided,” the IDF stated in a press release launched Wednesday.

U.S. officers have stated that they’re nonetheless engaged on gathering extra details about the remaining hostages, together with whether or not they want medical consideration.

“The truth is we don’t know a lot,” Kirby stated. “If we could get Red Cross access to them … it would help give us some information.”

Meanwhile, Hamas leaders in Doha and the fighters in Gaza aren’t at all times in settlement about technique.

“The Gaza military guys are calling their own shots,” a 3rd senior administration official stated. “They don’t always listen to the political leadership elsewhere.”

The Biden administration plans to proceed speaking with Israel, Qatar and Egypt, together with on the Doha Forum subsequent week. Roger Carstens, the administration’s hostage envoy, will probably be on the Doha gathering, however his journey had been deliberate earlier than the Gaza struggle, a State Department spokesperson stated, declining to supply additional element.

Nahal Toosi and Alex Ward contributed to this report.



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