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Israel’s Mossad: Hamas not interested in hostage deal, wants to set region ablaze during Ramadan

Qatar and Egypt desperate to secure shorter truce for Ramadan start

Yahya Sinwar, leader of the Palestinian Hamas Islamist movement, hosts a meeting with members of Palestinian factions, at Hamas President's office in Gaza City, April 13, 2022. (Photo: Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

The Hamas terror organization is not interested in reaching an agreement with Israel at the moment, and instead seeks to inflame the broader region during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israel’s Mossad said on Saturday evening.

In a rare public statement by the secretive intelligence service, Mossad stated that its chief, David Barnea, met American CIA Director Bill Burns on Friday “as part of the non-stop efforts to advance another deal to get the hostages back.”

“Hamas is doubling down on its position, uninterested in a deal, and seeks to inflame the region during Ramadan at the expense of the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip,” the statement read.

“It should be emphasized that contact and cooperation with the mediators are continuing at all times in an effort to bridge the gaps and promote agreements.”

The efforts to reach a hostage deal and truce before Ramadan reached an impasse last week, as Israel refused to send a delegation to the latest round of talks after Hamas didn’t budge from its positions.

In a last-ditch effort before the start of Ramadan on Sunday evening, mediators from Egypt and Qatar will meet during the day on Sunday to discuss a much shorter-than-hoped-for ceasefire lasting only two days at the beginning of the holy month, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A senior Hamas official indirectly confirmed the Mossad statement in an interview with WSJ, warning that without a truce deal over Ramadan, tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem would escalate.

“We didn’t declare negotiations have been stopped. We are the party most keen to stop this war,” Husam Badran, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, claimed.

Hamas has made the permanent end to the war a central condition to release the 134 Israeli hostages remaining in the Gaza Strip.

The terror group demands that Israel allow the displaced residents of the northern Gaza Strip to return to their homes; a substantial increase of humanitarian aid and its transfer through all of the existing border crossings; a plan to rebuild the ruined Strip; and the complete withdrawal by the Israel Defense Forces, Badran said.

He also denied reports of a growing rift within the terror group, stressing instead that Hamas leadership, both inside and outside the Gaza Strip, demands a complete halt to the war, which just entered its fifth month.

The real culprit for the breakdown of the talks, Badran noted, was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The only complication in the negotiations is Netanyahu’s stance, who refuses to deal with anything on the table,” he said.

“Netanyahu is the most dangerous [person] for the stability of this region. He is the fire starter.”

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

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