Wednesday, February 28, 2024

What are the new variables’ chances of making a prisoner exchange deal a success?


Israel returned to the Egyptian-Qatar-mediated negotiating table after a week-long break following the collapse of a “seven-day” ceasefire in which Hamas released dozens of hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. .

Israel returned to the Norwegian capital, Oslo, for talks after an accident in Gaza that killed three hostages at the hands of Israeli forces and an increase in popular protests demanding the swift return of the hostages. Gaza Strip.

The talks moved from Doha, which saw Israeli delegates walk out at the last meeting following the failure to extend the ceasefire, to Oslo with Egyptian, Qatari and US participation.

A meeting between Israeli Mossad director David Barnia and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani in Oslo was positive, CNN said.

The Wall Street Journal has suggested that the head of Mossad would negotiate with Egyptian officials during his stay in Oslo to negotiate a cease-fire and a prisoner exchange deal that would include the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Exchange to release Hamas prisoners from October 7.

Ambassador Hussein Haridi, a member of the Egyptian Council of Foreign Affairs, believes that “the change in circumstances has forced the Israeli government to return to the negotiating table,” explaining to Asharq al-Awsad that “Netanyahu’s government and the War Council are under pressure.” The failure to rescue hostages since the collapse of the ceasefire has been exposed; Even the death of 3 of them prompted them to agree to return to the negotiating table.

US intelligence director William Burns, along with Egyptian intelligence director Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel, attended the talks, the first in a European country since the start of the war, following earlier ceasefire talks in Qatar.

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Haridi explains the move to Europe to hold talks, “in order to pressure Israel to implement a cease-fire and the willingness to engage other parties without imposing Israeli security control over the Gaza Strip.” He pointed out that Norway was one of the countries that played an important role in mediating between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

On Sunday, Reuters, citing Egyptian officials, confirmed that there was an agreement between Hamas and Israel to renew the ceasefire and release prisoners. But there is disagreement on how to implement it. According to Reuters, Hamas has demanded that Israel withdraw from certain land routes in the Gaza Strip and a complete ceasefire as a key condition for accepting the talks. Negotiations without divulging details.

According to Al-Quds University political science professor Dr. Ayman Al-Raqab, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsad, the negotiations will be in three categories: the first is linked to the remaining civilians according to the principle of one in 10, the second is linked to the remnants of female soldiers and soldiers, and the last category is linked to the military, and this is often the focus of the negotiations. will be in the final stage.

One difference, noted by a member of the Egyptian Council of Foreign Affairs, relates to “trying to conclude an agreement that includes an immediate and permanent cease-fire,” with negotiations beyond the issue of managing the situation according to the “strategic framework” of Israeli demands. He pointed out that it would be difficult to reach a prisoner exchange deal, and that the Israeli occupation would resume after that.

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What is most important, in the view of the current political science professor at Al-Quds University, is “the shift in Israeli stance towards responding to the demands of the opposition, which demonstrates its inability to achieve its previous demands, while at the same time imposing a security reality that oppresses Palestinians in Gaza, similar to what is happening to the people of the West Bank in Tel Aviv.” What prevents you from trying?

Haridi does not believe that meetings between Egyptian and Israeli officials, once completed, will be limited to dealing with the situation in Gaza; But it will contain files related to the Palestinian issue, for exchange of views.

On Monday, the head of Mossad received the “green light” to conduct a prisoner exchange deal with the Hamas movement, according to the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, who presented the possibility of the deal to the Israeli War Council on Sunday. , and with the approval of the Council, through mediators in this matter (Egypt and Qatar).

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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