Israeli Negotiators Head to Qatar for Cease-Fire Talks, Officials Say

Israeli negotiators were traveling to Qatar on Monday to participate in a new round of in-person talks aimed at achieving a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages held by Palestinian militants, according to a senior Israeli official and another official briefed on the negotiations.

The Israeli delegation’s trip to Doha, Qatar, comes after Israel and Hamas failed to reach an agreement ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began last week.

The Israeli delegation includes the head of Mossad, the foreign intelligence agency; the director of the Shin Bet, the internal security service; and a representative of the Israeli Army, said the Israeli official. Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to communicate with the news media.

Representatives of Israel and Hamas are negotiating indirectly through Qatari and Egyptian mediators. On Thursday, Hamas presented a new proposal that omitted a demand that Israel immediately agree to a permanent cease-fire in return for beginning an exchange of hostages and Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

For months, Hamas leaders have been publicly calling for a comprehensive cease-fire and complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israeli officials have repeatedly rejected the demands and indicated that they would be open to only a temporary pause.

Palestinians grappling with displacement and hunger have grown frustrated that Israel and Hamas still have not reached a deal, and the families of hostages have raised concerns about the fate of their relatives months into captivity.

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