All Israel

Disagreements about Israeli delegation's mandate as hostage negotiations begin in Qatar

Security officials complained about limited authority for negotiation team

People walk next to pictures of civilians held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, and some who were released in a deal between Israel and Hamas, in Jerusalem, Nov. 22, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Political disagreements over the authority granted to the Israeli delegation continued as the negotiations over a hostage deal with Hamas got underway in the Qatari capital of Doha on Sunday night.

The delegation leader, Mossad Chief David Barnea, is expected to return to Israel on Tuesday while his team will remain in Doha to try and reach an agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization.

Political maneuvering surrounding the negotiations continued in Israel, as local media reported that some members of the delegation feared the red lines set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would make it difficult to reach an agreement.

On Sunday, Netanyahu and his War Cabinet limited the delegation’s mandate further than some heads of the security establishment had requested, especially regarding the Palestinian prisoners to be released and other Hamas demands, two senior Israeli officials told the Jerusalem Post.

Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, who is in charge of the intelligence effort to free the hostages, was displeased with the limitations and even considered not traveling to Qatar, according to Ynet News.

On the other hand, Barnea thought a deal was still reachable within the set limits. “The negotiations team didn’t get what it wanted but it got enough rope. If we will be close to a good deal, Netanyahu will give even more rope,” a senior Israeli official told the Axios news outlet.

“They didn’t say ‘no’ to anything but set numbers that are somewhat higher than the Paris [outline], but still much less than what Hamas wants,” he told Ynet.

Israeli officials have been cautious about the success of the ongoing negotiations. “It is going to be a long, difficult and complex process. A great deal of patience is needed,” an Israeli official said.

Negotiations on the ground are expected to be similar to the talks leading up to the Shalit deal 13 years ago, and will be held indirectly. The Israeli and Hamas delegations will be located in different buildings, nearby each other, while Qatari mediators will shuffle back and forth to advance the negotiations.

Another Israeli official called for patience, emphasizing that the real negotiation wasn’t with the Hamas delegation but with its top leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

“There is an external Hamas that is in Qatar and an internal Hamas that is in the tunnels, and it takes between 24 and 36 hours to deliver each message. The negotiations are not with Hamas, which has no power and no ability to make decisions, but only with Sinwar, who is in the tunnels. This makes the process very difficult,” he noted.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories