Published: 10:01, May 26, 2024 | Updated: 10:04, May 26, 2024
Report: Israel agreed to resume hostage talks with Hamas next week
By Xinhua

Smoke billows following Israeli bombardment in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 25, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (PHOTO / AFP)

JERUSALEM / GAZA - Israel has agreed to renew talks with Hamas on a hostage deal next week, with the mediation of Egypt, Qatar and the United States, Israel's state-owned Kan TV reported on Saturday.

According to the report, at a meeting in Paris on Friday, David Barnea, the chief of the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency, presented a new proposal approved by the Israeli war cabinet to William Burns, director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.

An Israeli government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the three officials discussed the basis for continuing negotiations next week under the new proposals put forward by Egypt and Qatar, with the participation of the United States.

Health authorities in Gaza said Saturday that the Palestinian death toll from ongoing Israeli attacks has risen to 35,903

Kan TV reported that Burns had offered potential solutions to the contentious issues that had stalled previous negotiations, adding that the upcoming talks will be led by Egypt and Qatar, with active involvement from the United States.

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The previous round of ceasefire negotiations in the Gaza Strip, which took place in Egypt, collapsed earlier this month.

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel that the movement "was not informed by the mediators of anything related to the resumption of negotiations."

Hamdan added, "Today's talk about new negotiations is not serious. We do not need new negotiations."

He added that negotiations should aim to stop "the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, end the siege, and achieve a fair exchange deal."

Displaced Palestinians walk along a devastated street in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 24, 2024, as conflict between Israel and Hamas militants continues. (PHOTO / AFP)

On Saturday, Gaza health authorities accused Israel of obstructing the wounded and sick individuals from leaving Gaza.

More than 20,000 wounded people and patients with cancer, heart and blood diseases are waiting for the Rafah border crossing to open in "inhumane conditions due to the occupation, siege and war of extermination imposed on civilians in Gaza," spokesman Ashraf Al-Qedra said in a press statement.

Health authorities in Gaza said Saturday that the Palestinian death toll from ongoing Israeli attacks has risen to 35,903.

During the past 24 hours, the Israeli army killed 46 Palestinians and wounded 130 others, bringing the total death toll to 35,903 and injuries to 80,420 since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict broke out in October 2023.

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas on Sunday announced the capture of an unspecified number of Israeli soldiers during an operation in the Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza Strip

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Meanwhile, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas on Sunday announced the capture of an unspecified number of Israeli soldiers during an operation in the Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

"Our fighters were able to carry out a complex operation on Saturday afternoon in the northern Gaza Strip, where they lured an Israeli force into one of the tunnels in the Jabalia camp, clashed with it from zero distance, and killed, captured, and wounded all its members," Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Ubaida said in a statement.

A video clip released by Hamas showed an individual being dragged in a tunnel, purportedly an Israeli soldier, but this has not been independently verified.

The video also showcased weapons and equipment claimed to be used by Israeli soldiers.

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In response to the announcement, Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adraee said "there is no incident of kidnapping a soldier in Gaza."

On the other hand, Egypt is continuing its efforts to resume negotiations between Israel and Hamas, according to media reports.

"Egypt is continuing its efforts to reactivate the ceasefire negotiations and the exchange of prisoners and detainees, and is also conducting intensive communications to restore calm in the Gaza Strip," Egypt's Al-Qahera News TV channel quoted an unnamed high-ranking source as saying on Saturday.