Israeli Mossad Director David Barnea visited Qatar over the weekend and met with senior Qatari officials to discuss their efforts in trying to secure the release of more than 240 Israeli and foreign nationals who were taken hostage and transferred to Gaza following the Hamas attack on October 7.
Qatar currently plays the role of the main mediator between Israel and Hamas regarding the hostage release issue.
According to Two Israeli officials, the Israeli Defense Cabinet decided, last Thursday, to begin its expanded ground operation in Gaza after refusing to provide Israel, via Qatar, with a list of the names of all the hostages it is holding.
Hamas told Qatari officials it was still in the process of finding out the whereabouts and identities of all the hostages, but Israeli officials said the prevailing feeling in Israel was that this was merely a tactic to buy time and prevent an Israeli ground operation.
This news comes in light of the Hamas movement’s announcement of its willingness to release all of its Israeli prisoners in exchange for Israel releasing all of the prisoners in its prisons, as part of a deal that has become known as “all for all”.
The Israeli government is facing increasing pressure within Israeli society and the families of Israeli prisoners, whose pressure is increasing on the Netanyahu government to move forward with the two agreements to release all those imprisoned in Israeli prisons in the article of Hamas releasing all its prisoners.
It’s noteworthy that the Hamas movement broadcast a video of three Israeli women prisoners in harshly criticizing the Israeli government and calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the exchange prisoners.