CIA chief blames deadlock in hostage talks on Hamas for rejecting mediators’ latest proposal

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

File: CIA Director William Burns speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 8, 2023. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AP Photo)
File: CIA Director William Burns speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 8, 2023. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AP Photo)

CIA chief Bill Burns placed the blame on Hamas for the latest deadlock on the hostage negotiations, saying the terror group rejected the latest proposal crafted by US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

“It was a deep disappointment to get a negative reaction from Hamas,” Burns said at an event at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

“Right now, it’s that negative reaction that really is standing in the way of innocent civilians in Gaza getting humanitarian relief that they so desperately need,” he says in rare public comments.

Burns said he could not guarantee that the talks will succeed.

“And it breaks your heart because you can see in very human terms what’s at stake here as well,” he says.

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