Qatar warns of stalemate in hostage talks, PM refuses to summon cabinet

Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said on Tuesday the Gaza ceasefire and hostage release talks between Israel and Hamas remain “close to a stalemate,” after they broke down when Israel began its offensive on Rafah earlier this month. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and war cabinet member Benny Gantz demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree to the cabinet to discuss the impasse in negotiations but Netanyahu has rejected the request.

Over the past two days, Gallant and Gantz have been pushing for another meeting after Netanyahu rejected the negotiation team’s proposals during the last cabinet meeting, even accusing them of not knowing how to negotiate. The talks have reached an impasse, with Hamas reportedly demanding a 12-week ceasefire.

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Benny Gantz, Benjamin Netanyahu, Yoav Gallant

(Photo: EPA, Yariv Katz, Yair Sagi)

Following the recent discussion on Saturday, ministers and cabinet members said they thought that Netanyahu did not want a deal and that “there is nothing to talk about.” There was significant tension between Netanyahu and the negotiation team, as he dismissed the ideas presented by the team members.

Although there was support among ministers for the team’s proposals, Netanyahu argued they would lead to the end of the war. “You don’t know how to negotiate with Hamas, who keep rejecting everything they propose,” Netanyahu said.

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הפגנה מול בית הנשיא בירושליםהפגנה מול בית הנשיא בירושלים

Israelis protest for the release of hostages

(Photo: Shalev Shalom)

Sources familiar with the discussion described it as difficult, focusing on potential pathways back to negotiations amidst the deadlock. According to these sources, all participants were left with the impression that Netanyahu simply did not want a deal. A senior Israeli official stated that “nothing will happen with the hostages until after Rafah unless a miracle occurs.”

Meanwhile, a senior Washington Post analyst reported on Tuesday that American officials believe the talks might resume in the coming weeks, but warned that Netanyahu’s government might prevent a deal from being finalized.

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