Mossad chief Barnea in Qatar for fresh talks, will meet CIA director

Tal Schneider is a Political Correspondent at The Times of Israel

Mossad director David Barnea speaks at a conference at Reichman University, on September 10, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)
Mossad director David Barnea speaks at a conference at Reichman University, on September 10, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

Mossad chief David Barnea is in Doha for talks with CIA director Bill Burns and top Qatari officials, The Times of Israel is told.

This is Barnea’s third trip to Qatar since the start of the war, and he also hosted top Qatari officials in Israel, as Doha mediates between Israel and Hamas.

The visit comes after Israel and Hamas agree on a two-day extension of the temporary truce in order to allow for the release of at least 20 more hostages from Gaza.

Barnea’s talks are focused on ensuring the smooth release of the additional 20 hostages and possibly expanding the temporary truce for more days in order to ensure the release of all the women and children.

Israel believes there were up to 93 women and children being held by the terror groups, excluding five female soldiers, and believes the next two days are critical in getting Hamas to extend the deal to include all of them.

Israel has agreed to release 30 Palestinian security prisoners and extend the truce by 24 hours for every 10 Israeli hostages released.

So far Hamas has released 51 Israelis and another 19 foreign workers.

The second reason for Barnea’s trip is to lay the groundwork for future deals that could include those hostages who did not fall under the current agreement, including men and possibly soldiers.

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