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CIA Director slated to travel to Europe to revive Gaza captive talks

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Bill Burns is slated to meet in Europe with Mossad director David Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani.

  • Photos of Israeli captives are plastered on a wall in “Hostages Square” in Tel Aviv on May 17, 2024. (AP)

CIA director Bill Burns will soon fly to Europe to meet with the head of the Israeli Mossad and the Qatari Prime Minister in an attempt to revive captive and ceasefire talks, US and Israeli officials told Axios.

Two weeks ago, talks that may have led to a ceasefire came to a halt and Hamas Political Bureau member, Izzat al-Rishq confirmed that “Israel’s” invasion of Rafah and occupation of the crossing only aims to block the efforts of mediators and escalate the aggression and genocide.

As election day nears in the US, the White House considers a captive agreement the only possible way to alleviate pressure on Biden

Burns will meet with Mossad director David Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, according to a third person familiar with the meeting.

On Wednesday, the Israeli military cabinet authorized increasing the authority of the Israeli talks team, according to authorities. A new proposal was developed which allegedly holds some concessions in the Israeli positions compared to the last round of negotiations.

The latest Israeli approach includes a readiness to further compromise on the number of surviving captives to be freed on humanitarian grounds in the first phase of the agreement, according to Israeli sources.

During the most recent round of talks in Cairo, “Israel” asked that Hamas free 33 live captives – women, female soldiers, males over 50, and those in critical health – in the first part of the agreement.

Hamas asserts that just roughly 18 captives fit within these categories but vowed to return the remains of nearly 15 captives to “Israel”.

The Israeli plan reportedly included a readiness to consider Hamas’ demand for “sustainable calm” in the Gaza Strip during the second phase of the agreement, which involves the release of all Hamas-captured men and troops.

Egyptian authorities have not confirmed if they will attend the summit in Europe. However, a US source reported that they, along with Qataris and Israelis, are actively participating in the discussions.

Recently, Israeli anti-government protesters launched a “Day of Disruption” in and around occupied al-Quds on Monday to coincide with the opening of the Knesset’s summer session, demanding the removal of the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

The families of captives pointed out in a statement that Netanyahu failed to reach an exchange deal and should be prevented from making unilateral decisions and immediately removed from office “because he left our sons to face death.”

Hamas slams 5 female soldiers video as attempt to tarnish Resistance

Most recently, Hamas issued a statement refuting Israeli claims about a video published by Israeli media that allegedly showed the capture of female soldiers during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

Hamas asserted that the video being circulated is edited and manipulated, casting doubt on the authenticity of its content. “The video clip being circulated in Israeli media is edited and manipulated, and the authenticity of its content cannot be verified,” the statement declared.

The movement suggested that the timing of the video’s release is part of what it describes as “Israel’s” unsuccessful attempts to tarnish the image of the Palestinian Resistance.

“The circulation of this clip at this particular time is part of the occupation’s failed attempts to tarnish the image of our brave people’s Resistance by spreading fabricated stories that have been proven false by various media investigations and forums,” the statement stressed.

Hamas explained that the footage shows female soldiers at a military site who were captured while on duty at the Gaza Division headquarters. The soldiers appeared in civilian clothes because they were on a break when the attack occurred early in the morning on Saturday, October 7, which was their day off.

The statement emphasized that the video attempts to mislead and manipulate public opinion regarding the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza.

Hamas further emphasized that the footage underwent deliberate editing and fragmentation, with selected images and clips chosen to support the occupation’s claims and lies about the assault on the female soldiers. 

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