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CIA director leaves US to negotiate ceasefire in Gaza

CIA Director Bill Burns is traveling back to Europe to resume negotiations on a ceasefire and a possible hostage deal between Israel and Hamas that would lead to an end to the war in Gaza, a U.S. official told CNN.

“The director will travel to Europe in the coming days in an effort to resume talks,” the US official said. “The director holds frequent discussions with Egyptians, Qataris and Israelis. Both Egypt and Qatar are very committed, as are the Israelis.”

The latest round of negotiations comes as the war in Gaza reaches its seventh month, leaving more than 35,000 people dead and thousands of Palestinians without food, water and medical aid. The last temporary truce in November led to the release of more than 100 hostages, but the Israel Defense Forces estimate that there are still around 130 people detained.

Burns has served as a key interlocutor for the United States in talks between Israel, Hamas, Egypt and Qatar, and was sent during previous failed rounds.

A Qatari official said to CNN that Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani will also participate. The prime minister is currently in Paris, the official said.

No official confirmed the other participants. In the past, they were joined in Paris by the director of Israel's Mossad, David Barnea, and the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel.

Negotiations broke down three weeks ago, after Burns crisscrossed the region trying to smooth out differences between Israel and Hamas. CNN reported on Tuesday (22) that Egypt clouded negotiations after independently changing the terms of a framework Israel had signed and presenting it to Hamas, which then declared its acceptance.

The ceasefire agreement that Hamas announced on May 6 was not what the Qataris or Americans believed had been submitted to Hamas for potential final review, three sources said. to CNN . The proposal was changed without the knowledge of Israel or the other mediators, the US and Qatar, provoking anger and frustration.

Burns was in the region when news reached him that the Egyptians had changed the terms of the agreement. Two days after Hamas' response, on May 6, Burns returned to Washington and sources said to CNN that negotiations were “paused”.

The Qataris are expected to play a bigger role in this round, a source previously told CNN but Egypt is still expected to be central given its proximity to Hamas, as well as Israel's preference for Egypt over Qatar.

Discussions are also expected to focus on a broad framework that includes an initial phase in which up to 33 Israeli hostages would be released over at least six weeks. Hamas has been pushing to include the bodies of hostages killed in the initial release and also that there be no interruption between the first and second phases of the agreement – ​​Israel resists both requests.

Source: CNN Brasil

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