Israel has pulled its Mossad negotiators from Qatar, which along with Egypt and the United States is mediating talks to secure a renewed pause in the Israel-Hamas war. The negotiations hit an impasse and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his team in Doha to return to Israel.
The statement accused Hamas of not fulfilling its side of an agreement to extend the truce in Gaza. The deal had included the release of all women and children held in Gaza in accordance with a list conveyed to Hamas and agreed upon, the statement said.
Hamas said there will be no further prisoner exchange with Israel until the war on Gaza is over. The group’s deputy head, Saleh al-Arouri, told Al Jazeera, “Our official stance is there will be no further prisoner swap until the war ends. Israeli prisoners will not be released until our [Palestinian] prisoners are liberated and after a ceasefire comes into effect.”
The Hamas official said the group was ready to exchange the “bodies of dead Israelis in exchange for our own martyrs, but we need time to exhume these bodies”. He also said, “The Israeli occupation insists that we are still holding women and children but we have already released them all.”
The temporary truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed after mediators were unable to extend it. The humanitarian pause saw the release of 80 Israeli captives in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners. Israel and Hamas have traded blame over the truce’s collapse.
French President Emmanuel Macron said France is “very concerned” by the resumption of violence in Gaza as he landed in Qatar on Saturday to help kick-start a new truce. Macron said the situation required the doubling-down of efforts to obtain a lasting ceasefire and the freeing of all captives.
He also urged Israel to clarify its goals towards Hamas. “We are at a moment when Israeli authorities must more precisely define their objectives and their final goal: the total destruction of Hamas – does anyone think it is possible? If this is the case, the war will last 10 years,” he said.
At least 100 Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes on the Jabalia refugee camp in the north of the strip on Saturday. Rescuers used their bare hands to dig through rubble in search of survivors. Palestinian authorities said at least 240 people have been killed since the bombings resumed early on Friday.
The United Nations estimated at least 1.7 million people in Gaza – 80 percent of its population – have been displaced since the war began on October 7. Since then, the Israeli campaign in Gaza has killed more than 15,000 people, most of them civilians. In Israel, the official death toll stands at about 1,200.
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