Israel-Hamas talks on ceasefire, hostage deal on brink of collapse

JERUSALEM, Apr 20 : There is a possibility that Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas will discontinue their talks in Qatar on a ceasefire and hostage release deal, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed Arab official familiar with the matter.

On Wednesday, NBC News reported, citing a senior Arab diplomat, that the Israeli-Hamas truce talks were ‘almost frozen.’ On Thursday, Hamas political bureau member Husam Badran told Sputnik that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not seeking a political settlement of the conflict.

The Hamas political bureau is looking to move its headquarters from Qatar to another Arab country, which will likely disrupt the current Israel-Hamas negotiation, the newspaper reported. The Palestinian movement has already turned to at least two alternative countries to host its political headquarters, including Oman, according to the report.

On April 7, a new round of Israeli-Hamas talks started in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. The ceasefire proposal made at the talks provided for the release of 40 Israeli hostages in exchange for 900 Palestinian prisoners as a part of a three-stage plan adopted by international mediators. Hamas largely rejected the proposal, saying it would present its own plan for a permanent end to the conflict in the region. (UNI)