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Israel pulls back negotiating team from Qatar, as truce talks hit ‘dead end’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) speaks with Mossad chief David Barnea at the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv on October 15, 2023.

Israel says it has ordered its Mossad negotiating team in Qatar to return, following a deadlock in the talks on extending a truce with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.   

"Following the impasse in the negotiations and at the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Barnea, head of the Mossad, ordered his team in Doha to return to Israel," Netanyahu’s office said in a statement on Saturday.

The statement further accused Hamas of failing to fulfill its obligations under the truce agreement.

Qatar is mediating efforts to secure a renewed pause in the ongoing war in the besieged Gaza Strip. The Mossad team spent about a week in Qatar to take part in talks aimed at achieving a temporary pause in the deadly onslaught.

United Nations agencies and other international organizations have condemned the Israeli regime for resuming its intense bombings of Gaza, which have killed nearly 200 Palestinians over the past two days.

Israel waged its war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas launched an operation against the occupied territories on that day in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

Tel Aviv also blocked water, food, and electricity to Gaza, plunging the coastal strip into a humanitarian crisis.

The truce, which was extended twice, began on November 24. It had paused brutal Israeli strikes on Gaza that began in early October and killed more than 15,000 Palestinians. 

The truce saw the release of 105 Israeli captives held in Gaza and 240 Palestinian prisoners.

The ceasefire had allowed some humanitarian aid into Gaza but the aid supplies were far below what is needed, according to aid workers.

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