Israel-Hamas peace talks in Doha hit roadblock

Tel Aviv: The ongoing indirect peace talks in Qatar capital have hit a roadblock after Israel refused to budge on many demands put forward on behalf of Hamas

According to sources in the Israel defense ministry, the Israeli delegation led by Mossad Chief David Barnea told the mediators, including those from Qatar and Egypt, that they may not be able to release several Palestinian prisoners who are charged with grave crimes, including murder.

Hamas had demanded the release of 350 Palestinian prisoners who are in Israel jail for serious offenses, including murder.

The Israel side, according to information available, has also said that it wanted the release of its hostages in two slots. Earlier Hamas had said that they would release the Israeli hostages in three steps with women, elderly and injured given the first preference. The second slot ,according to the Hamas conditions, was to release the Israel women soldiers in captivity and the third step would feature the release of all those in custody, including male soldiers.

However, sources told IANS that the Israeli negotiators wanted all the male and female soldiers in custody to be released in the second slot.

This tough positioning of the Israel side has set a gloom over the peace talks on the first day itself. It may be recalled that the Israel security cabinet had put certain red lines for the negotiators and had firmly directed the team to be tough.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Defence Minister Yoav Gallant were given the entire charge of communicating with the Israeli negotiators if a situation arises.

Sources in the Israel defense ministry said that the Hamas side was too weak and that they have almost crumbled and hence negotiations must be done keeping this war ground reality into consideration.

Mossad Chief David Barnea, who is heading the Israeli delegation, is assisted by the head of Shin Bet Ronan Bar and the Israel side has, according to information, presented the regions in Gaza strip where they can allow the rehabilitation of displaced Palestinian families back to their homes.

Several Palestinian families were relocated from their homes in northern Gaza strip to south Gaza since the war commenced and there has been a demand from the Hamas side to relocate these families back to their homes.

IANS

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