Doha- In a significant diplomatic move, top officials from the CIA and Mossad, along with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, convened in Doha on Thursday. The focus of the meeting was to deliberate on the terms for the release of prisoners and a temporary halt to Israeli hostilities in the Gaza Strip, as disclosed by a reliable source familiar with the discussions.
Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian group, conveyed its readiness to release two Israeli prisoners—a woman and a boy—citing humanitarian and medical grounds in a recorded message by an Al Quds Brigades spokesperson. The release initiative is contingent on meeting appropriate measures, emphasizing a commitment to addressing urgent needs.
The trilateral meeting, featuring David Barnea (Mossad), CIA Director William Burns, and Prime Minister al-Thani, materialized following Qatari mediators engaging with Hamas political office officials the previous night. The real-time collaboration aimed to expedite the negotiation process by uniting all three parties at one table.
Discussions encompassed not only the potential prisoner release but also explored the possibility of permitting humanitarian fuel imports into Gaza—a request hitherto denied by Israel. On Wednesday, preliminary talks touched upon releasing 10-15 prisoners in exchange for a brief one-to-two-day humanitarian pause to ease the strife afflicting Gaza.
Subsequently, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, accompanied by the Prime Minister, visited Abu Dhabi to meet with Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The purpose of the visit was officially stated as discussing the situation in Gaza. Unlike Qatar, the UAE has maintained diplomatic ties with Israel since the 2020 US-brokered normalization agreement.
In a separate development, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed Turkey’s readiness to play a guarantor role in resolving the ongoing crisis. This announcement followed a meeting with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Economic Cooperation Organisation summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo disclosed his intent to convey a strong message to US President Joe Biden in their upcoming meeting. President Widodo emphasized the urgency of halting the ongoing unrest in the Middle East, aligning Indonesia with numerous nations calling for an immediate ceasefire. Indonesia has also extended support through the dispatch of humanitarian aid to Gaza.