Netanyahu Recalls Mossad from Qatar Amid Gaza Truce Standstill

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Mossad chief David Barnea and his team to return from Qatar due to a “dead end” in negotiations that took place in Doha on Saturday, the Prime Minister’s Office said. A team from Israel’s Mossad intelligence service was in Doha Saturday for discussions with Qatari mediators on restarting the Gaza truce, a source briefed on the visit told Reuters. The Qatar-mediated talks focused on the potential release of new categories of Israeli hostages other than women and children and the parameters of a truce, which the source said differed from the truce agreement that collapsed on Friday. Israel and Hamas have been considering new parameters for the release of hostages and the truce since before it collapsed. The truce which began on November 24 saw Hamas release Israeli women and children taken hostage on October 7 in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners, including women and teens. Israel and Hamas have traded blame over the collapse of the truce, which lasted a week and was extended twice before mediators were unable to find a way for a third extension. Israel accused Hamas of refusing to release all the women it held. A Palestinian official said the breakdown occurred over female Israeli soldiers. Israel is open to considering more future pauses in its war in Gaza to allow for the release of hostages kept by Hamas, the Wall Street Journal reported late on Friday citing an Israeli official. “We can negotiate while we still fight,” the official was quoted as saying.