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US, Israel, Qatar Meet in Egypt on Another Hostage/Ceasefire Deal

CIA Director William Burns met with Israeli Mossad Chief David Barnea in Cairo today as part of a new round of talks on a Qatari-mediated ceasefire that would temporarily halt fighting in exchange for Hamas freeing hostages. The Associated Press today cited a senior Egyptian official saying that mediators had achieved “relatively significant” progress ahead of the meeting of representatives from Qatar, the U.S., and Israel. The official said the meeting would focus on “crafting a final draft” of a six-week cease-fire deal, with guarantees that the parties would continue negotiations toward a permanent cease-fire.

Hamas, however, has already panned Israel’s response to the Paris framework. “The movement has reviewed the response of the occupation to the Paris proposal, which its representatives participated in and agreed upon,” senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan said at a press conference in Beirut yesterday. “We see that the occupation’s response is a step back from the Paris proposal itself, setting conditions and obstacles that do not facilitate reaching an agreement that achieves a cessation of aggression against our people.

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