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Mossad, CIA chiefs meet Qatar PM in Doha on Gaza hostage deal -source
DOHA, Nov 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israeli Mossad chiefs met with the Qatari prime minister in Doha on Thursday to discuss the parameters of a deal for hostage releases and a pause in Hamas-Israel fighting in the Gaza Strip, a source briefed on the meeting told Reuters.
The outcome of the talks was unclear but the White House later announced Israel had agreed to temporary pauses.
Qatar, where several Hamas political leaders are based, has been leading mediation between Hamas and Israeli officials for the release of more than 240 hostages. They were taken by Hamas militants when they rampaged into Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel says 1,400 people were killed.
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Israel then launched an unrelenting bombardment of Hamas-ruled Gaza and late last month began an armoured invasion of the enclave, where over 10,000 people have been killed, 40% of them children, according to Palestinian officials.
David Barnea, head of Israel's Mossad intelligence service, CIA Director William Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani met after Qatari mediators met officials from the Hamas political office on Wednesday night and discussed potential parameters of a deal.
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A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Burns met with Barnea and the Qatari prime minister to discuss a possible release of hostages by Hamas. The official declined to provide further details.
The advantage of the meeting was to bring all three parties together at one table in real time to speed up the process, the source said.
The talks also included a discussion about allowing humanitarian imports of fuel into Gaza, so far refused by Israel lest, it says, it is diverted to Hamas for fighting purposes.
A source told Reuters on Wednesday the talks touched on a release of 10-15 hostages in exchange for a one- to two-day humanitarian pause in the war that is devastating Gaza.
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani travelled on Thursday night to the United Arab Emirates where he met with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
The Qatari prime minister also travelled with the emir.
Sheikh Mohamed wrote on social media that the two leaders had met to reinforce the UAE and Qatar's calls for an immediate ceasefire, unimpeded humanitarian access, and the protection of all civilians.
"The UAE and Qatar stand firm in urging the need to advance de-escalation efforts and secure a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the region," he said.