Israel to send delegation for Gaza ceasefire talks in Qatar

IANS Photo

Jerusalem, March 22 (IANS) Israel is set to send a delegation to Qatar for negotiations on a Gaza ceasefire deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

The delegation, led by head of the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency, David Barnea, will depart for Qatar on Friday, his office said on Thursday.

The talks include head of the US Central Intelligence Agency William Burns, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and Egyptian Intelligence Minister Abbas Kamel, Xinhua news agency reported.

The meeting "will be held as part of the negotiations in Doha, and its purpose is to advance the efforts to return the hostages," the office added.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is expected to arrive in Israel for talks with senior officials on Friday, said on Wednesday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that negotiations to secure an immediate truce in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza were "getting closer" to a deal.