PM dismissed hostage release outline put together by Mossad, Shin Bet, IDF — report

The Mossad, together with the Shin Bet and the Israel Defense Forces, put together a new framework for a truce deal to release the hostages that was dismissed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

The details of the framework were not reported, but Kan says the proposal was put together by Mossad chief David Barnea, Shin Bet security agency chief Ronen Bar and Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, who is commanding intelligence efforts to find the abductees.

The proposal was discussed with Netanyahu a number of times, according to the report, and was most recently brought up during a preparatory meeting yesterday for the Cairo talks today with CIA head William Burns, head of Egyptian intelligence Abbas Kamel and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

The meeting was meant to resume negotiations on the three-phase hammered out in Paris last month.

Netanyahu rejected the new outline and instructed the trio to head to Cairo to “only listen” to the talks, without presenting new ideas or offering a formal answer to Hamas’s demands, which Netanyahu has termed “delusional.”

Following the conversation with Netanyahu, Alon decided not to attend the meeting in the Egyptian capital and sent his deputy instead.

Netanyahu also sent one of his political aides, Ophir Falk, to the meeting.

Israel has waffled on sending representatives to the Cairo talks this week, but came under US pressure to do so. Top US officials have said that regardless of some of the “nonstarters,” there is space to push for an agreement and that it was Washington’s intention to do so.

In a call on Sunday between US President Joe Biden and Netanyahu, Biden reportedly encouraged the Israeli premier to send a delegation to Cairo to join the talks.

Biden said Monday that the US was pushing for a six-week pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas as a stepping stone toward a longer ceasefire.

A political source told Kan that the problem was and remains “the unreasonable demands of Hamas to stop the war.”

The Palestinian terror group’s demands include a permanent ceasefire, a withdrawal of troops from Gaza, reconstruction of the enclave and some 1,500 Palestinian prisoners, among them terror masterminds, in exchange for the remaining hostages taken on October 7.

Israel has been willing to accept talks based on the original Paris framework from two weeks ago, which reportedly envisions a three-phase humanitarian pause, with 35 to 40 Israeli hostages — women, men older than 60 and those with serious medical conditions — released during the first six-week phase. Israeli soldiers and the bodies of killed hostages would be released in the second and third phases.

Details regarding the latter phases, as well as the number and identities of Palestinian security prisoners who would be released by Israel, were to be discussed in subsequent negotiations if the sides both agreed to the Paris proposal. Other reports presented different versions of the framework, which has not been officially published.

Most Popular