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Qatar is focused on extending the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, which expires on Thursday, Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid al-Ansari said on Tuesday.
He noted that the negotiations take into account the possibility that the ceasefire will be extended by one day for the release of every 10 hostages held by Hamas. Qatar has not been able to certify how many hostages will remain in captivity of Hamas once an agreement is reached today and tomorrow to release 20 more people, al-Ansari said.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that CIA chief William Burns had arrived in Qatar for secret consultations with the head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, David Barnea.
According to sources, Burns is urging Hamas and Israel to expand the scope of the talks so that in addition to women and children, the Palestinian group can release and kidnapped soldiers. In addition, the head of the CIA is demanding a longer pause in the fighting. Key is Burns' demand for the immediate release of the American hostages, who are reported to be eight or nine.
Hamas releases third group of hostages in Gaza
The CIA declined to comment on the report. A U.S. government official confirmed that "Burns traveled to Doha for meetings over the Israeli-Hamas conflict, including continued consultations on the hostage issue."
Reuters also reported on the meeting in Qatar, citing its sources. According to them, representatives of Egypt will also participate in the consultations in Doha.
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