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Israeli war cabinet tells negotiators to resume hostage release talks with Hamas

The instructions were given after a four-hour war cabinet meeting on May, 22, the Jerusalem Post newspaper wrote

TEL AVIV, May 23. /TASS/. The war cabinet of Israel is poised to resume dialogue with Palestine’s radical movement Hamas about the release of Israeli hostages, The Jerusalem Post newspaper wrote citing the Prime Minister’s Office.

According to the report, the negotiating team was instructed to continue efforts aimed at releasing the hostages. The instructions were given after a four-hour war cabinet meeting on Wednesday night.

Negotiations between the Israeli government and Hamas were suspended last week. According to a report by the Israeli state broadcaster Kan, the talks have reached an impasse because the parties to the conflict cannot agree on the conditions for the release of hostages. "The sources indicated that the differences between the sides are very wide, especially over the term 'end of the war' as well as Israel's demand to veto the names of terrorists whose release Hamas may demand," Kan said.

Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7, 2023, when militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian movement Hamas staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from Gaza, killing residents of Israeli border settlements and taking over 240 hostages, including women, children and the elderly. Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. In response, Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians before the crisis, and has been delivering air strikes on Gaza as well as some parts of Lebanon and Syria. Clashes have also been reported on the West Bank.

In late November 2023, a temporary humanitarian ceasefire was brokered by Egypt and Qatar that lasted a week, during which 110 hostages were released, according to Israel. On December 1, the ceasefire was violated and fighting resumed, continuing to this day.