Israeli security cabinet to meet Sunday to discuss Gaza ceasefire talks: PM office

Israel’s security cabinet is set to meet Sunday to discuss the “mandate” of a delegation due to travel to Doha for talks on a truce in Gaza, the prime minister’s office said.

The security cabinet and the smaller, five-member war cabinet will meet Sunday to “decide on the mandate of the delegation in charge of the negotiations before its departure for Doha,” a statement said, without specifying when the delegation would leave.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces domestic political pressure to secure the release of hostages seized during Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel which triggered the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

The militants seized around 250 hostages that day, and Israel believes about 130 remain in Gaza, including 32 presumed dead.

The attack also killed about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli figures.

Israel’s retaliatory military campaign to destroy Hamas has killed at least 31,553 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

Israel did not send a delegation to recent truce talks in Cairo.

The decision to send a delegation to Doha comes as Hamas has submitted a new proposal for a six-week pause in fighting in exchange for the release of some hostages as well as Palestinian prisoners.

Previously Hamas had insisted that any further hostage releases would be contingent on a durable ceasefire.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, a member of the war cabinet, held a meeting on Saturday focused on the return of hostages that included “representatives of the negotiation team”, his office said in a statement.

Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said on X on Saturday that he opposed sending a delegation to more hostage talks.

“Hamas’s delusional stance shows that the supporters of the deal in the war cabinet and the security establishment have lost the plot,” he said on X.

“It’s time to sober up the concepts and learn from the mistakes.”

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