Israel said to believe Hamas ‘playing for time’ in hope war breaks out in Lebanon before truce deal reached

The leader of the Hamas terror group in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, is stalling on the negotiations for a hostage-ceasefire deal with Israel in hopes that a new full-blown war will erupt on the Lebanon front before a deal is finalized, an unnamed Israeli official involved in the talks is quoted as saying by the Haaretz news site.

“Hamas doesn’t want a deal now,” the source says. “It doesn’t want to release the hostages, but rather to play for time. Yahya Sinwar… wants war to erupt in the northern border and therefore will not move toward a ceasefire.”

The report also says mediator Qatar is holding talks with the Hamas leadership to try and bridge the gaps between the latest Israeli proposal — endorsed by the US and the UN Security Council — and the reservations listed by the Palestinian terror group, some of which were cast by Washington as not workable.

While foreign sources are expressing cautious optimism about the prospect of a breakthrough, senior Israeli officials are pessimistic, the report adds.

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