Israel and Qatar explore revival of deal for Gaza hostages: Report

Israeli and Qatari officials were set to meet in Norway on Saturday in an effort to revive talks about the release of hostages held in Gaza in return for a ceasefire and the freeing of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani was due to meet David Barnea, director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, in Oslo, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter. Barnea is also likely to meet with Egyptian officials, the Journal reported.

Significant obstacles impede a resumption of negotiations on a new hostage deal including disagreements over the possible terms within Hamas, the report added, citing people familiar with the talks.

The report of the talks comes a day after Israeli military said it mistakenly killed three hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas.

During a week-long truce in late November, Hamas released more than 100 women, children and foreigners it was holding in Gaza in exchange for the release of 240 women and teenagers.

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