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Mossad, CIA, Qatar, Egypt reps to meet in Paris as Gaza deal talks advance

The Biden administration is hoping that a deal for the release of hostage and a temporary ceasefire could be reached before the start of Ramadan, March 10.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

PARIS — CIA Chief William Burns is expected to travel to Paris on Friday to meet with Israeli, Qatari and Egyptian officials in yet another effort to jump-start a deal for the release of the hostages held in Gaza amid growing American and European pressure to reach a breakthrough in the war. 

The meeting, first reported by Axios, was confirmed to Al-Monitor by a source. According to Haaretz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized an Israeli delegation to travel to Paris Thursday evening. The delegation will be headed by Mossad Chief David Barnea, but it is unclear yet who will join him.

McGurk in region

US envoy to the region Brett McGurk met Thursday in Israel with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as part of an American push to advance a hostage release deal. McGurk arrived in Israel after visiting Egypt on Wednesday. At their meeting, Gallant said, “We will expand the authority given to our hostage negotiators. At the same time, the IDF is preparing the continuation of intense ground operations” in Gaza. Gallant's office also said the minister expressed in the meeting Israel’s commitment to limit harm to civilians and its willingness to expand the entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza to prevent hunger and illness. McGurk is also set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.

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