February 24, 2024

Doha seeks to mediate a deal to release all hostages, with Israel waiting for the return of ten more hostages on Wednesday night. Qatar, Egypt, and the US are mediating indirect talks between Hamas and Israel in Doha. They are working on two deals simultaneously, with the larger one possibly ending the Gaza war that began on October 7. The first deal could see the release of 20 to 30 Israelis over the next two to three days through an extension of an existing deal. The second larger deal under discussion would allow for the release of 150 Israeli captives out of the 240 hostages seized by Hamas. The initial deal has sought to secure the release of all 98 women and children in Gaza, with some eight Israelis ages 18 and under still held captive. Mossad chief David Barnea, CIA chief William Burns, and Egyptian intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Abbas Kamel are in Qatar to discuss the matter. The breaking point is any inclusion in the deal of an end to the Gaza war. Foreign governments have been making separate deals with Hamas for the release of hostages. The temporary ceasefire has allowed about 800 aid trucks to enter Gaza, with the first of three US planes with humanitarian supplies for Gaza landing in Egypt on Tuesday. UN aid chief Martin Griffiths was to travel to the Jordanian capital Amman on Wednesday to discuss opening the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza from Israel.