ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Israeli official denies report of Qatar-mediated negotiations for prisoner swap

An Israeli official says “there is no negotiation” for the release of hostages, responding to an earlier claim by a Hamas source that Israel had been in touch with Qatar as a mediator.

The denial comes as Reuters confirms earlier reporting by the Chinese Xinhua news agency, saying Qatari mediators have been in touch with Hamas officials in a bid to secure the release of Israeli women and children held in Gaza in exchange for 36 Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons.

The Reuters report says the talks are being coordinated with the United States and are “moving positively” though there are no signs of a breakthrough.

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